PBS claims “most trusted” news title


PBS cites research by GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media to claim that it is the “most trusted and unbiased source” for news, ahead of all commercial networks. The survey results also called PBS an “excellent” use of tax dollars.

“In a media world where profits drive decisions, public media stands alone in its singular focus on the American public and not the bottom line. PBS does more to serve the needs of our modern democracy with trusted, independent journalism and does more to help children succeed than any other media enterprise. Today’s citizens – whether they watch on-air, online, on mobile devices or in the classroom – understand this fundamental difference that distinguishes PBS,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO.

This is the seventh consecutive year the public has named PBS the nation’s most-trusted institution. In the 2010 poll, 45% of respondents said they trust PBS more than any other nationally known organization. PBS ranked at the top in public trust among every age group, ethnicity, income and education level measured. Second in trust are “courts of law,” which are trusted a great deal by 26%. PBS ranks highest in importance among 58% of respondents when compared to commercial broadcast (43% of respondents) and cable television (40%).

The research was conducted in December 2009 and January 2010 by the non-partisan, international research company GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media.

Here are additional highlights of the two national surveys:

—  PBS remains the network with the most trusted news and public affairs programs, with 40% trusting its programs a “great deal.” Fox News Channel was second with 29% and CNN was third at 27%.

—  In an effort to measure bias, the survey concluded that 40% of Americans rated the news coverage, investigations and discussions of major issues on PBS programs as “mostly fair” (when asked to choose among “liberal,” “mostly fair” and “conservative”).  NBC and ABC tied for second by 33% of the respondents, CNN (31%), NPR (29%), Fox News Channel (25%) and MSNBC (24%).

—  More than 75% of the public believes PBS addresses key news, public affairs and social issues “very/moderately” well, including providing access to arts and culture (88%); promoting understanding of science and technology (82%); providing access to a variety of viewpoints (78%); informing people about health issues (77%); and informing people about important political and social issues (76%).

—  PBS KIDS earned the #1 ranking as the most educational media brand for children, receiving 21% of the top ratings from respondents. National Geographic Kids was second with 13% of respondents and Nick Jr. received 5%.

—  PBS KIDS remains the most essential source of children’s programming, with 67% of respondents stating that PBS’ children’s service is “very important,” compared to 49% for cable and 44% of commercial broadcast television. 89% of respondents believe it is “very important” for PBS to provide children’s programming.

—  About 80% of respondents, across all age groups, ethnicity, income and education level measured, believe funding for PBS is money “well spent.” Respondents also found PBS an “excellent” use of tax dollars, second only to military defense and ahead of public schools.

—  A near majority of Americans believe the federal funding PBS receives is insufficient. When informed that public broadcasting receives 15% of its funding from the government, and that this amount translates to about one dollar per person per year of government support, 46% believe this amount is “too little,” 39% say it’s “about right” and only 11% state that it’s “too much.”

PBS annually commissions this research to measure the organization’s performance and value as judged by the American public. Full results are available at pbs.org/roperpoll2010.

RBR-TVBR observation: OK, we know are readers are going to jump on this one. Let the commenting begin!