Americans consider television and daily newspapers the most credible sources of news and information, according to a national study of 1,005 adults conducted by Opinion Research Corporation’s Caravan Services and sponsored by ARAnet, which provides content to newspapers and websites. Television was viewed as the most trusted media source, scoring a 6.6 on a one-to-10 credibility scale. Daily newspapers ranked second, earning 6.3 points out of 10. Radio, online media and weekly community papers ranked in the middle of the list. Free shoppers were viewed as least credible, scoring a 3.5 out of 10.


Survey respondents assigned credibility scores ranging from one for “not at all credible” to 10 for “extremely credible” to seven types of media. The credibility scores corresponded with the amount of news and information people say they receive from each media source each month, with television and daily newspapers ranking as the top two sources. Consumers reported getting nearly 35 percent of their news and information from television, and 23.5 percent from daily newspapers. People reported getting just 1.6 percent of their monthly news and information from magazines.


 “The survey results echo what we’ve been hearing from consumers and within the industry,” says ARAnet president Scott Severson. “The types of media that people view as the most credible are the ones that they turn to the most often for news and information.”


Online sources ranked in the middle of the pack, both for credibility and for the percentage of news and information people received from Web sites each month. Survey respondents gave online media 5.6 out of 10 points on the credibility scale, and said they receive 12.7 percent of their news and information from online sources. “As more people go online for news and information, it’s more critical than ever for sites to deliver credible content that gives Web users the information they’re looking for,” Severson says.