Survey: News Watching Up During Pandemic

Not a surprise in a stay-at-home population, but according to a new Horowitz Research study, almost two thirds (63%) of respondents said they are watching more news during the pandemic and broadcast news is cited by more people as one of the most trustworthy sources.

Where they get news from affects what they think about COVID-19 coverage and how much they trust it varies, according to the study.

Horowitz found that 40% of Americans name at least one of the broadcast outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox (distinguished from Fox News), PBS, Univision, and Telemundo) as among the top three trustworthy sources.

A little under a third (30%) named CNN, MSNBC and BBC among those top three, while top cable news channel FNC was named by 21% as one of those.

Across all the respondents, 46% have a positive view of how the news media are covering the pandemic while 29% say coverage is poor. Among those who picked Fox as one of their most trustworthy source, more than twice as many had a negative view of how the media in general was covering the virus, vs. 16% of those who did not cite Fox.

The online survey was of 1,000 U.S. adults 18-plus, "balanced to match the U.S. adult population."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.