With more Americans at home consuming more media, Americans’ trust in TV news coverage has surged, according to a media tracking survey conducted by emotional engagement research consultancy Brand Keys.
The Brand Keys survey, which biannually measures how much trust Americans have in the media outlets they view regularly, found that of the nine media brands evaluated in the survey, six of them—ABC, BBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and NBC—saw improved trust ratings. Five media outlets—ABC, BBC, CNN, Fox and MSNBC—currently maintain trust levels of at least 90 percent. Only three of those outlets— BBC, CNN and MSNBC—held a 90 percent or above approval rating during Brand Keys’ previous survey in May.
|Trust ratings of media brands, compared to Americans' trust in Trump and Biden.|
CBS revealed the single largest trust gains among audiences during this cycle, at 88 percent, up from the previous 84 percent approval rating it exhibited in May. Since the survey’s inception two years ago, the outlets to witness the greatest gains in viewer trust are CNN and ABC (both up 21 percent), NBC (up 19 percent), CBS (up 16 percent) and MSNBC (up 10 percent).
The only outlets to receive lower approval marks among audiences since Brand Keys’ previous round of surveys were MSNBC (-6), PBS (-2) and Bloomberg (-1).
When asked what news topics are currently top concerns for viewers, respondents cited COVID-19 (31 percent), the economy (27 percent), the 2020 election (20 percent), the re-opening of schools (15 percent) and national protests (seven percent).
The survey also revealed an ongoing favorably gap between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Only 19 percent of TV viewers currently said they trust Trump, nearly three times smaller than the percentage of respondents who said they trust Biden (49 percent). These numbers are more or less consistent with findings from Brand Keys’ previous round of tracking in May, where trust in Trump stood at 12 percent compared to Biden’s 43 percent.
The latest installment of Brand Keys’ Media Trust Tracking survey polled 5,066 U.S. adults in early August. Respondents were balanced for gender and political affiliation.