The following is from Gallup News Poll.
- Nearly nine in 10 Americans follow public individuals for news and information
- TV journalists and hosts of shows are the most popular individuals followed
- Public individuals broadly liked, trusted for non-mainstream perspectives
In 2022, the highest percentage of Americans in 50 years of Gallup tracking reported no confidence at all in the news media.
This aligns with growing public distrust in a wide variety of U.S. institutions.
Gallup’s research with Knight Foundation over the past five years has revealed the drivers and barriers of trusting the news and has quantified the depth of Americans’ negative feelings about the news today. When the trends hit a low point, is all hope lost?
A new Gallup/Knight Foundation study finds that many Americans regularly turn to individuals with public platforms for news and information. These individuals include celebrities, journalists, academic experts, TV show hosts, online influencers and business leaders. The top two reasons given for following these individuals are: personality and trust.
Here are seven charts summarizing the extent to which Americans turn to “public individuals” for news and information, and why they follow them.
1. Public individuals are a significant part of Americans’ news diet.
Nearly nine in 10 Americans follow at least one public individual for news and information. Scientists or other experts, politicians and journalists are among the most frequently followed. Although the most common type of information Americans say they get from public individuals is commentary and analysis, 61% get at least some of their news and current events from these individuals.
2. The influence of individuals is not just a social media phenomenon.
Only 16% of Americans follow social media influencers specifically for information. And while 51% of Americans say they follow all kinds of public individuals for news and information on social media platforms, the two most common mediums for following are television (63%) and newspapers (62%).
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