A Pew Survey on overall trust and distrust of news agencies across the generations (Baby Boomer/Gen-X/Millennial) should act as a sharp wake-up call for conservative media outlets. Pew was careful to include the caveat that trust and distrust rely on familiarity with the source itself, for example, pointing out that only 23% of Baby Boomers are familiar with Slate while 95% are familiar with ABC News. For sources familiar to all three generations, the most highly distrusted sources include, “The Glenn Beck Program, the Rush Limbaugh Show, the Sean Hannity Show and BuzzFeed.”
Interestingly, a whopping 61% of Millennials rely on Facebook for their news. This statistic mirrors the percentage of Baby Boomers who rely on local television. In other words peers, not educated, experienced, vetted journalists of all stripes, are becoming the preferred primary source for news and information.
For millennials far more familiar with Internet and non-network news sources, trust and distrust ran strongly along partisan and entertainment lines. Proving you really do grow wiser as you grow older, Baby Boomers and Gen-X’ers are more likely to distrust the top three sources millennials trust the most: “The Daily Show, the Colbert Report (which has recently gone off the air), and Al Jazeera America.”
You read right: The Daily Show has been lumped in with Al Jazeera America as a trusted news source for the young voter. Other most trusted sources? The New Yorker, Politico and HuffPo. All left of center. It should come as no surprise then that “the only source that elicits more distrust than trust among Millennials but not among Gen Xers or Baby Boomers is Breitbart, a source whose audience falls on the conservative end of the spectrum.”
Keep in mind that most millennials haven’t even heard of Breitbart or Sean Hannity. For the few who have, their distaste is automatic. Given their preferred sources I can’t imagine why.