The difference between which news outlets Republicans and Democrats trust

Linley SandersData Journalist
June 18, 2020, 6:30 PM UTC

Americans are divided by political party on which news sources they trust, according to the latest Economist/YouGov Poll

Most Republicans (57%) trust Fox News, the only news organization to receive a majority of GOP support in the survey. One-third of Republicans (34%) trust The Wall Street Journal, while one-third (33%) are neutral on whether the newspaper is trustworthy. A quarter (24%) of Republicans trust One America News Network, a conservative broadcast organization that has been elevated by President Donald Trump and the White House in recent months. 

Trump has promoted OANN as a “great alternative” to Fox News — though, OANN hasn’t usurped the media giant among Republicans overall. About one-third (32%) of Fox News viewers trust OANN, compared to 15 percent of Americans overall. OANN is frequently criticized for spreading disproven conspiracy theories and misinformation that President Trump has re-circulated on his Twitter account.  

Despite this, OANN remains more trusted among Republicans than The Washington Post (20%), The New York Times (19%), CNN (12%), and MSNBC (12%). A majority of Republicans actively distrust CNN (70%), MSNBC (66%), and The New York Times (58%) — each of which are outlets that have received frequent attacks and threats from the president for not providing favorable coverage to his administration.  

Democrats share a nearly opposite view from Republicans when asked about the same media sources. Most Democrats trust The Washington Post (65%), CNN (64%), The New York Times (63%), MSNBC (59%), and The Wall Street Journal (58%). Only about one in 10 Democrats consider each of these news sources untrustworthy — much lower than what Republicans say about even their top news source. 

Two-thirds of Democrats (67%) actively distrust Fox News, while 14 percent trust the network. About half (51%) of Democrats remain neutral on OANN, though about two in five (38%) consider it untrustworthy.  

Registered voters overall are the most likely to trust The Wall Street Journal (48%), The Washington Post (44%), and The New York Times (43%).

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll 

Related: How Fox News viewers see hydroxychloroquine differently than the rest of America 

MethodologyThe Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between June 14 - 16, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.2% for the overall sample.   

Image: Getty