13 Charts Revealing U.S. Adults’ Preferences for and Trust in the News Media in 2023
Between deep political polarization, increasing reliance on social media and the upheaval of traditional business models, the media industry is facing major headwinds. As the country enters another presidential election cycle, these companies will continue to confront meaningful challenges in building trust and maintaining public attention.
In more than a dozen charts, this resource features Morning Consult survey data to help readers dissect U.S. adults’ preferences and trust in the news media leading up to the 2024 elections.
Chart Pack highlights:
- While data shows increasing polarization among viewers of different cable news networks, substantial shares of viewers do not fall along the expected party lines: More than 2 in 5 voters who watch CNN and MSNBC at least a few times a week are not Democrats, and half of Fox News’ consistent viewers are not Republicans.
- A majority of U.S. adults used social media for news in October: Almost 7 in 10 U.S. adults said they went to social media at least once for news in the past month, more than other sources tracked. Adults were least likely to report using print newspapers (40%), online newsletters (40%) and podcasts for news (38%).
- Democrats are nearly two times as likely as Republicans to trust the news media: Roughly a third of Republicans (31%), and about 3 in 5 Democrats (61%) said they have at least “some” trust in the news media, making it the most polarizing institution on Morning Consult’s Trust in U.S. Institutions Tracker.
- Tucker Carlson fans would rather watch the conservative host on his own media network than watch Fox News competitors: In the wake of Carlson’s firing and his show’s cancellation earlier this year, a larger share of his fans said they’d be interested watching him on his own network (75%) than the shares who said they’d be interested in tuning into him on social media (68%) or expressed interest in viewing a Fox News host who shares his opinions (65%). Carlson has since started a series on X, formerly known as Twitter, and obtained his first advertiser last month.
This resource contains downloadable charts from the following analyses, trackers and reports:
- People Like Facebook More Now That It’s Less Newsy
- The Voters Republicans Miss by Sticking to Fox News
- TikTok Really Is Becoming Gen Z’s Google, and More on How Gen Z Gets Its News
- Tracking Trends in the Media and Entertainment Industry
- Tracking Trust in U.S. Institutions
- Tucker Carlson Fans Are More Wealthy and Conservative Than Fox News Fans
About the authors
Justine Coleman is a digital producer at Morning Consult.
Kevin Tran previously worked at Morning Consult as the senior media & entertainment analyst.
Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].