Study: Half Of High School Students Don't Trust The Media, Only 21% View 'Fake News' As A Threat

Chris Menahan
Dec. 06, 2018

The propaganda isn't working.

From Ad Week:
Almost half (49 percent) of high school students and more than half of teachers (51 percent) say they have not much or not any trust in the media to report news accurately and fairly.

In addition to low levels of trust in news, students report lower news consumption and engagement.

The sharpest drops in news media engagement were reported for consumption of local TV news and cable TV news. 30 percent reported watching local news often in 2016 versus 14 percent in 2018. Similarly, 26 percent reported watching cable news often versus 12 percent in 2018.

But teens are definitely still consuming news, they’re just doing it on digital platforms, right? Not according to this study. Engagement with the news on social media also dropped. Only 46 percent of students say they often use social media to get news, compared with 51 percent in 2016.

There also seems to be an increased trust in citizen journalism.

In 2018, 40 percent of students said they trusted content—pictures, videos and accounts—posted by people more than traditional news sources; this number grew from 26 percent in 2016. Teachers also show large increases in trust for citizen journalism efforts.

Unlike those who work in and cover the media 24/7, teens don’t really deem “fake news” as a threat to democracy. Just 21 percent of high school students view fake news as a significant threat to democracy. In contrast, 40 percent of teachers view it as a threat to democracy.
This is why the fake news media is in such a rush to show down all free speech online.

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