Half of All US High School Students Don’t Trust the Media to Report Accurately and Fairly

Half of All US High School Students Don’t Trust the Media to Report Accurately and Fairly, by A.J. Katz.

A national study of 9,774 high school students and 498 teachers …

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.