The new landscape of facts and
Lee Rainie - @lrainie
Director Internet, Science, and Technology Research
Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit – April 21, 2017
Facts are the atomic unit of truth
Facts drive outcomes for individuals and societies
Facts underlie justice
Facts are democratic
Facts are spiritually important
Facts are tied to trust
Trust is what binds people together to:
achieve collective action
Information revolutions are like avalanches
New challenges to facts and trust
Public Trust in Government: 1958-2015
Trust the federal government to do what is right just about always/most of the time
Trust in government by party: 1958-2015
Trust federal government to do what is right just about always/most of the time…
Large majorities say elected officials out of touch with
public, put their own interests first
% who say most elected officials…
Try hard to stay in touch with votersLose touch with people quickly
Don't care what people like me think Care what people like me think
Put the country's interests firstPut their interests first
Consistent Liberals & Conservatives
Often Live in Different Media Worlds
Little Overlap in the Sources Trusted for Political News
Few have a lot of trust in information from
professional news outlets or friends and family
Social media garners the least amount of trust
Fake news is seen as a problem
Most say Clinton, Trump supporters cannot agree even on ‘basic
On important issues facing the country, most Trump and Clinton supporters … (%)
Negative feelings also much stronger now
Negative stereotypes about the ‘other side’
A year before election, most felt like ‘their side’ was losing
more often than winning in politics
On issues that matter to you in politics today, has your side
been winning or losing more often? (%)
Both Parties Have Lost Confidence and Trust in Public’s
% very great/good deal of trust and confidence in political wisdom of
From the campaign – how Trump and Clinton voters viewed a
Compared with 50 years ago, life for people like you in America today is …
Trusting the President’s words?
What people say they want/need
Smart allies (diversity really helps)
Proof of authenticity
More confidence they can
learn and grow
Just-in-time help in
More training on tech use and
Organizations that will help
and protect them
April 27, 2017 29www.pewresearch.org
Title: The new landscape of facts and trust
Subject: Lee Rainie, director of Internet, Science and Technology research at the Pew Research Center, will discuss the Center's latest findings about how people use social media, how they think about news in the Trump Era, how they try to establish and act on trust and where they turn for expertise in a period where so much information is contested.
The public’s trust in government remains at historic lows. Today, just 19% say they trust the federal government to do what is right always or most of the time, which is little changed from recent years. Fewer than three-in-ten Americans have expressed trust in government in every major national poll conducted since July 2007 – the longest period of low trust in government seen in more than 50 years. While Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they trust the government, trust remains low across partisan lines: Just 11% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say they trust the government, compared with 26% of Democrats and Democratic leaners.
A recent Pew Research Center survey (also part of our ongoing work on polarization) found deep distrust in government and considerable cynicism about politics and elected officials alike. But despite these negative assessments, majorities believe government does a good job on many issues and want it to have a major role on a wide range of policy areas. [They still see a role for government, but they do not see it as very effective in many cases.]
2014 report: look at relationship b/t current pol env’t in Amer & people’s pol news habits
Shed light on pol polarization: looks at ways people get info abt gov’t & pol in news media, social media & interpersonally
Overall, those w/ most consistent ideological views on left & right have info streams distinct from indiv w/ more mixed pol views – & very distinct from each other.
Can be overstated.
Study also suggests that virtually impossible to live in ideo bubble.
Most Americans rely on array of outlets, & most hear dissenting political views
Consis cons (furthest on right):
tightly clustered around 1 news source, far more than any other ideo group
About ½ cite Fox News as main political news source
Asked about 36 news sources: expressed greater distrust than trust of 24
Consis Libs (furthest on left):
Not as tightly clustered around 1 source; a greater range of news outlets named as main source – like NPR & NYT
Express more trust than distrust of 28 of 36 news outlets
At least as impt as where turn for news is who they trust (strong ideo diff).
Chart: levels of trust to distrust for each source (overall & by ideological group)
Purple: more trusted than distrusted
Yellow: more distrusted than trusted
Grey: about equally trusted and distrusted
As already suggested, libs trust much larger mix of news outlets.
Of 36, 28 more trusted than distrusted by consis libs.
Among consis cons, 24 draw more distrust than trust.
Of 8 outlets more trusted than distrusted by consis cons, all but one more distrusted by consis libs.