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Gallup Study: Few Agree on 'Fake News' Definition

Gallup Study: Few Agree on 'Fake News' Definition
(Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:02 AM

The 2017 Gallup / Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media, and Democracy reported that few Americans agree on the definition of "fake news."

"The problem is that 'fake news' has become completely politicized and weaponized," said Tim Franklin, a senior associate dean at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, in Politico.

More GOP voters believe that fake news is "news organizations slanting their stories to promote a certain point of view," the study reported.

  • 53 percent of Republicans said that is always fake news, 44 percent said it sometimes is, and 2 percent said it never is.
  • 20 percent of Democrats say that slanted news is always fake news, with 67 percent saying it sometimes is and 10 percent saying it never is.
     

More Republican voters than Democrats also believe that "accurate news stories casting a politician or political group in a negative light" is considered fake news, the study reported.

  • 42 percent of Republicans said that type of coverage is always fake news, 46 percent said it sometimes is, and 10 percent said it never is.
  • 26 percent of Democrats said that type of coverage is always fake, while 50 percent said it sometimes is fake news and 22 percent said that it is never fake news.

Most Americans, regardless of party affiliation, see the definition as referring to reports that knowingly portray false information as if it was true, the study reported.

  • 43 percent of Democrats said that always counts as fake news, while 48 percent said it sometimes does, while 7 percent said it never does.
  • 52 percent of Republicans believe that always counts as fake news, 44 percent said it sometimes counts, and 2 percent said it never does.

Almost three-fourths of those in the study — 73 percent — agree that misinformation on the Internet is a major issue.

Other results of the study show that many Americans view the news media negatively, although 84 percent say the media has a "critical" or "very important" role.

  • 43 percent view the press somewhat or very unfavorably.
  • 33 percent view the press favorably.
  • 23 percent have a neutral opinion of the press.

Breaking down that result by political beliefs shows more Republicans view the press in a negative light, with 68 percent of Republicans viewing the media unfavorably, and 54 percent of Democrats seeing it as trustworthy, the study reported.

"The big takeaway is that Trump’s media marketing campaign is working, not just on his core, but on Republicans in general," said New York University professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat said in Politico’s report.

The study based its results on mailed responses from more than 19,000 Americans age 18 or older.

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The 2017 Gallup / Knight Foundation Survey on Trust, Media, and Democracy reported that few Americans agree on the definition of “fake news.”
fake news, gallup study, donald trump
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2018-02-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:02 AM
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