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Trust for CNN, MSNBC Split Along Party Lines More Than Any Other News Orgs, Poll Finds

The Weather Channel, PBS and the BBC emerged as the most trustworthy media organizations, according to YouGov

Here’s another thing Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on. According to a new poll released by YouGov, CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times rank among the most polarizing media outlets between the two parties.

YouGov’s 2023 poll is a follow-up to the poll the organization released last year. Conducted between April 3-9, YouGov asked Americans to say whether they trust, distrust or neither trust nor distrust 56 different media organizations. This was up from the 22 outlets that were featured last year. YouGov saw an increase in net trust from 2022 to 2023 for the 22 outlets it originally asked about, which is a nice little wrinkle in this study.

Of these media sources, which ranged from major network news to more niche news sources, the most polarizing outlet was CNN. Whereas Democrats’ net trust in the organization was +55, Republicans’ was -37, marking a 92-point difference between the two. CNN was then followed by MSNBC and The New York Times, which saw a 91-point difference and an 82-point difference between Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

In fact, Democrats seem to trust the media more overall. Out of the 56 media outlets covered in the poll, Democrats displayed more trust than Republicans in all but five organizations: InfoWars, Breitbart News, Fox News, One America News (OAN) and Newsmax. Unsurprisingly, the biggest divide between the political parties had to do with Fox News. Whereas the network earned a +41 from the right, it scored a -16 from the left.

There are all sorts of other interesting insights in this poll. Want to know what the most trusted media organization in America is? It’s The Weather Channel. Both Republicans (+47) and Democrats (+64) rated it highly. After The Weather Channel, PBS, the BBC and The Wall Street Journal emerged as the most trusted media organizations. All four of these outlets were positively rated by people who were polled on both sides of the aisle.

What about the most trusted network? That’s apparently ABC with 44% saying they trust the channel. But, according to YouGov, all three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS and NBC) displayed similar levels of trust. As a whole, cable networks (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) saw slightly less trust.

As for the least trusted media organization in America, that dishonor belongs to Alex Jones’ InfoWars, which scored -16 overall.

The poll also asked about the trustworthiness of social media sites. Americans had a net negative view of news shared on social media with TikTok, Snapchat and Facebook earning the lowest scores. LinkedIn earned the highest score. But at a +3, trust in the platform still wasn’t very high.

Of course, all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. The YouGov poll only reflects the opinions of 1,500 Americans over the course of a seven-day period. As YouGov itself notes, “Poll results can differ significantly when they are conducted differently and at different times.” Still, it’s as close as we’re going to get to empirical proof that we’re living in divisive times.