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Survey: Kids Value News But Don't Trust It

A new study by Common Sense Media found that while young people value news media, they say they are often fooled by fake news, which may account for the fact that only a quarter of them put a lot of trust in the information they get.

The study found that young people 10-18 don't feel the news covers things they care about or misrepresent them when they are part of the story.

"The more we know about how kids get news and how the news makes them feel, the more effective we can be in helping them navigate this new, very tumultuous media landscape," said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, in a statement. 

That landscape is one in which their President attacks the media as liars, plotters and enemies.

According to the survey, 70% of the respondents said that the news makes them feel smart and knowledgeable, but 63% also said that what they see is disturbing and causes them to feel afraid, angry or depressed.

Only 44% of them said they can tell fake news stories from real ones, and almost a third who have shared a news story online in the past six months (31%) said they had shared a story they later found out was wrong or inaccurate. 

Social media trumps traditional media as the preferred news source, 39% to 24%, though the most trusted source was families and teachers at 48%.

"Kids trust the adults in their lives more than the news media, but they still turn to social media for information, which is why we need to help them filter out misinformation and understand where the news is coming from," said Jessica Lindl, general manager of Common Sense Education, of the study.

The survey was conducted in January 2017 among 853 children ages 10–18 drawn from "a nationally representative panel, as well as an oversample of African-American and Hispanic/Latino children drawn from an opt-in web panel."