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California voters’ news coverage trust connected to what party they belong to

Posted April 7, 2017

California voters have mixed feelings about the media, according to a new statewide Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll. It shows that slightly more than half (55 percent) report having a great or a fair amount of trust in how the media covers the news, and 45 percent have no trust, or not much.

These assessments are more upbeat than the views of the overall American public. According to a Gallup Poll conducted last fall, one in three Americans (32 percent) reported having a great deal or a fair amount of trust, while over two-thirds (68 percent) had little or no trust in how media relays the news.

When examined more closely, the Berkeley IGS Poll results break down along party lines.

They show that nearly eight in 10 Republican voters have little or no trust in the media and feel its coverage of the Trump presidency to date has been too critical. Nearly half of Republicans also report difficulty determining if political news reports are reliable.

By contrast, large majorities of the state’s Democrats report having a great deal or a fair amount of trust in the way the media reports the news, feel its coverage of the Trump presidency has not been critical enough and are confident in their ability to determine a news report’s reliability.

Views about the news media also strongly parallel voting preferences in the 2016 presidential election. Some 82 percent of Californians supporting Donald Trump last year say they have little or no trust in the way the media reports the news. Meanwhile, 77 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters say they have a great deal or a fair amount of trust in media reports.

The results, along with other recent reports from the Berkeley IGS Poll, testify to the depth and scope of political polarization in the state, with virtually every response about political leaders, policies and institutions dictated primarily by a voter’s party affiliation.

The report is based on a survey of 1,000 California registered voters conducted by IGS that was administered online by YouGov from March 13-20 in English and Spanish. Results from the overall sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent. YouGov administered the survey by inviting California registered voters included among its online panel of over 1.5 million Americans to participate in the poll.

Source: UC Berkeley

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