Don't trust what you read on the internet? That's no longer the dominant sentiment in the US, according to a new poll by Zogby International. A survey of more than 3000 people performed in the two days after the US Presidential Election found that 37.6% of respondents considered the Internet the most reliable source of news, 20.3% consider national TV news most reliable and 16% said that radio is the most reliable source.
The survey found that most people find all the news biased in some way and there were a number of other interesting findings. It's quite striking, though, that we're at a point in history where the internet is trusted more than TV and the Radio!
Other results of interest include:
- 72.6% believe the news they read and see is biased
- 88.7% Republican and 57.5% Democrat respondents describe the news media as biased.
- Lest we conclude that the Republican/Democrat split represents sour grapes more than anything else - 39.3% of those surveyed trust FOX News most for the issues they consider most important, followed by CNN with 16% and MSNBC with 15%.
The survey was commissioned by the Independent Film Channel for the IFC Media Project. The full details will be posted on the IFC site later tonight.
Zogby is a reputable polling firm but they have come up with some very interesting results before in other surveys. Last fall we wrote about a Zogby poll in which 24% of respondents said the Internet could serve as a replacement for a significant other and 11% of respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to "implant a device into your brain that enabled you to use your mind to access the internet if it could be done safely." That's a really bad idea.
A Turning Point in History
This fall we wrote about how Google is changing political debate like nothing else ever has before. It may or may not be particular Internet news sources that are trusted by the respondents to this latest poll - it may just be the world of searchable information that makes for a richer and more informed understanding of the news. That's pretty hard to argue with.
Either way, this is an historic turning point. The Internet, the medium most famous for being untrustworthy, at this time when it's more characterized than ever by the ability for anyone to publish, is now more trusted that professional TV and Radio news!
Given both the obvious and documented affinity that young people today have for learning with the Internet - it doesn't seem like TV, radio and newspapers stand much of a chance in the future. Do they?