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March 19, 2020

Conflicting Reports on Public's Trust of Media Re virus News

Axios reports that roughly half the country says they don't trust traditional media, like cable TV and newspapers, very much or at all to accurately deliver information about the novel coronavirus, according to a new Axios/Ipsos poll. That number sinks even lower for digital media and online news companies. Of all of the institutions polled, most people feel that health officials, followed by government institutions, are most likely to provide accurate information about COVID-19. Of all government institutions, respondents by far feel that their state and local government officials are able to most accurately deliver information about the virus, more so than federal officials.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are considered the most trustworthy information sources about the virus. Respondents have a deep distrust that the information they receive about the pandemic is accurate on social media. In total, 74% said they don't trust social media very much or at all"... Separately, however, a Pew Research poll done March 10-16 finds 51% of adults saying they're tracking news about COVID-19 "very closely," and another 38% said they're following it "fairly closely," with 70% saying they think the media have covered the outbreak either "very" or "somewhat" well. Still, 62% think the news media have either "greatly" or "slightly" exaggerated the risks, while 30% said journalism outlets have "gotten the risks about right".... Also, multiple reports confirm big spikes in consumption of publication sites and both national and local television news. Recode: "In the past week, coronavirus articles represented just 1 percent of articles published but about 13 percent of all article views, according to data from, a company that measures content performance for a network of more than 3,000 high-traffic sites, including the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NBC, Conde Nast, Slate, and TechCrunch. As a result, overall traffic to news sites has gone up. In recent days, article views have increased around 50% vs. the previous week, according to’s network. "Much of what people are reading appears to be practical, informative, and action-oriented. That is, people aren’t just reading articles about what’s happening. They’re learning what they can do about it."

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