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Pew Finds Political News Generation Gap

The majority of Baby Boomers continue to turn to local broadcast TV for political news, while roughly the same percentage of Millennials turn to Facebook for that news. But cable came out on top as the main source of that news.

That is one of the findings of a just-released Pew Research Center survey of 3,000 adults.

“When it comes to where younger Americans get news about politics and government, social media look to be the local TV of the Millennial generation,” said Pew Research Center director of journalism research Amy Mitchell in releasing the study, appropriately subtitled "Social Media-the Local TV for the Next Generation?"

The greatest percentage of Millennials (61%) and Gen X'ers (51%) say they got political news from Facebook, while 60% of Baby Boomers got it from local TV, according to the study. Local TV was also the second most popular source for Gen X'ers at 46%. For Millennials it was CNN, and for Boomers, NBC News.

But when it came to what was identified as the main source of news about government and politics, cable news was the winner.

CNN was the main source of news for 21% of Millennials and 18% of Gen X'ers, while Fox News was tops with Boomers at 16%.

Local TV was number two as a main source for Millennials, with 10%, and number two with Boomers at 11%. For Gen X'ers, it was Fox News at 13%.

The study found that Boomers and Millennials are about equally trusting of their news sources, distrusting only two of 10 of the sources they have heard of.

In terms of who they trusted the most for news about government and politics, only one of the three demos had a clear winner, CNN among Millennials, with 60% said they trusted them. The next highest scores were for ABC News (48%) and NBC News (47%), with CBS recording 41%.