DAYTON, OH: Traditional media outlets remain the most trusted in America, but new media is rapidly catching up, according to a new LexisNexis survey of American attitudes towards different media sources.
The survey of 1,500 consumers nationwide found that half of those looking for accurate information on breaking news would turn first to network TV, followed closely by radio broadcasts.
"On average," the survey found, "consumers are four to six times more likely" to believe traditional media is "more trustworthy" than new and emerging media like citizen journalists or blogs.
But that may be changing. When asked which outlets they expect to trust and rely on most in the future, only 52% chose traditional media exclusively. Thirty five percent said they expect to trust both "emerging news and traditional news," and 13% said they expect to rely more on new media.
The survey also revealed the public's relative disinterest in traditional "hard news" topics; the top five topics of interest were, in order, entertainment news, hobbies, weather, food, and sports. They expressed the least interest of all in personal finance, and even the stalwart category of political news was less than half as popular as entertainment coverage.
John Columbus, an SAE at GolinHarris who heads the LexisNexis account, said that the survey was the first of its kind by the company, but that it may be replicated in coming years to track evolving consumer attitudes.
He noted that LexisNexis recently integrated a selection of "credible bloggers" into its search capability, another sign that new media's emergence is penetrating all spheres of the media and consumer landscape.