All Media Trust Is Local? Findings from the 2018 Poynter Media Trust Survey

Executive summary

Public trust in news reporting is essential for democratic self-governance. However, the me-
dia have come under fire from politicians, including President Trump, for the content of their
reporting and the journalistic practices they use. This report examines who trusts the me-
dia, measures how media trust has changed during the Trump presidency, and compares trust
across different types of media outlets. We present two key findings. First, we show that me-
dia trust remains slightly higher than before Trump took office but is dramatically polarized,
especially among the most politically knowledgeable Americans. Second, we show that dif-
ferences in media trust by party are substantially lower for local media sources than national
ones — a finding that is driven by independents and Republicans, who report higher levels
of trust in news sources within their community.

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