Comparing the Trustworthiness of Fox News and MSNBC

April 8, 2015

Submitted by:  Veronica Coffin



(This is the second of four articles by Fred Gielow based on a recent Accuracy in Media survey.)

In the previous article, I compared the trustworthiness of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Alan Colmes, and Leslie Marshall according to AIM supporters. These trustworthiness ratings resulted from a recent survey conducted by Accuracy in Media.

Survey takers rated news sources on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 represented 0 percent trust. 10 represented 100 percent trust. A total of 988 surveys were tabulated and analyzed. Although this was not a scientific survey, the results provide some useful insights.

Of the 988 individuals responding, 868 rated Fox News. Only 696 rated MSNBC. The average rating for Fox was 8.88, while the average rating for MSNBC was 1.63, a remarkable difference. On some survey sheets, individuals wrote in negative ratings (less than 0!) for MSNBC, but no negative numbers were factored into the results.

ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN television networks were also rated. Here’s a summary:


988 988 988 988 988 988
a Rating
for this
868 696 758 757 753 714
8.88 1.63 2.21 2.14 2.03 2.25
461 7 13 8 9 11
16 536 416 423 463 394


As high as the Fox News’ trustworthiness rating was (8.88), it’s not as high as the rating Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity received (9.13). Also, as low as Alan Colmes’ rating was (2.37), it’s not as low as the ratings for MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN. Clearly, Fox News is trusted by AIM supporters and the other television networks are not.

There were many comments written in on the survey forms praising Fox News. Apparently, a lot of people see this network as the only TV source for trustworthy news and information.

One would have to conclude that from these ratings, the old, “traditional” sources of news (ABC, CBS, and NBC) are no longer considered trustworthy by AIM supporters (rankings: 2.21, 2.14, 2.03). Even CNN ranked low (2.25). And MSNBC ranked the lowest (1.63) of all the other sources of news from television, radio, Internet, and newspaper, at least according to the survey respondents.

From 1956 to 1970, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley co-anchored NBC’s “The Huntley-Brinkley Report,” and viewers trusted what they said. From 1962 until 1982, Walter Cronkite anchored the “CBS Evening News” and viewers trusted what he reported. From 1983 until 2005, Peter Jennings told America the news on ABC’s “World News Tonight,” and viewers trusted his words.

Now, that trust has withered away and millions of Americans view these news agencies as unreliable, biased, and untrustworthy.

Americans are discerning, and they object to news broadcasts that they cannot trust. They search for outlets and individuals they feel are truthful and sincere. The old media are fading away. New media are taking their place, but some of these are not trustworthy, either.

Internet websites and newspapers were also rated in the AIM survey, and subsequent articles will discuss those results.


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