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April 23, 2014

Who is the most trusted newscaster on TV?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 23rd 2009 2:07PM
GibsonThink about this for a moment: who is the person on television that viewers trust the most to get their news from? Someone from the cable news channels? One of the network news anchors?

Time conducted a survey across the country, asking people who the most trusted newscaster is now that Walter Cronkite is gone. Not really sure why Cronkite matters in this context because he hadn't been a newsman in quite some time, but it's interesting to see all of the statistics by state. You probably won't agree with who came in first with 44%.

The most trusted newscaster on television is ... not a newscaster! It's Jon Stewart, host of a comedy show on Comedy Central. I don't understand why people often cite Stewart as being the most trusted newscaster just because he happens to do a show that involves news and current events. But I guess it says more about what viewers think about mainstream news than it does about Stewart.

I don't know who the Most Trusted Newscaster is, but I guess I would pick Stewart as Most Trusted News Satirist and Funny Dissector Of News.

[via TV Newser]

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michael

Who is the most trusted newscaster on TV? I vote none of them because none of them know what in the hell they are talking about unlike Walter Cronkite. Brian Williams is a very nice person but he could not explain Britain's involvement in the Middle East. He simply does not know anything beyond what is on his TelePrompTer or what he learned in school.

July 24 2009 at 3:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rae

"I think this points out how sad journalism has become, not the warped perception of the public."

Hear! Hear!

I'd also add that in the grasp for ratings and readership, news outlets increasingly give equal weight to actual news and faux news. For example: The endless Michael Jackson coverage and the speculative play-by-play of where is his casket.

What once was stuff for the society page, is now presented as a front page lead story; and now that we are inundated with a 24-hour steady stream of information, it's critical that journalists...and really it's the editors who call the shots...and the editors develop better filters for prioritizing and presenting information. There's so much information being thrown at us, they (the "real" news media, seldom takes time to look about and explain the bigger picture - which is something Cronkite, Murrow...etc were able to do) In today's 24-hour "breaking" news blah blah blah, Stewart is a refreshing change of pace.

Stewart's stance has always been 'hey, I'm not a real journalist but here's the way I see it.' Clearly the public sees things the way Stewart does too...hence the trust and the ratings.

July 24 2009 at 10:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim

I can tell you who it isn't: Katie Couric.

July 24 2009 at 7:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DJ

i think this points out how sad journalism has become, not the warped perception of the public.

since we are now inundated with multiple 24 hour news channels newscasters are having a harder time covering real news and being able to stand out doing so. this results in these ridiculous caricatures like Bill Oreilly, Glen Beck and Keith Olberman. Rather than give fair non partisan views on an issue they aggrandize topics and polarize to one side or the other for the shear purpose of gaining ratings.

However Jon Stewart only has around 25 minutes, 4 days a week to get across what he has to say about the current events. This causes him to give concise, thought out, and yet funny summaries of current events. This makes him likable and easy to pay attention to resulting in trust. That's something these other talking heads just dont take into account.

July 23 2009 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
am_hollitz

I trust Jon Stewart because he is well informed. No doubt because he (and his team) reads and watches A LOT of news. Being really well informed allows one to call it like he sees it (and he see it all.)

July 23 2009 at 3:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
izikavazo

I would have chosen Brian Williams. But I'm guessing 50% of Americans would disagree with me.

July 23 2009 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CJ

To me it shows people can't tell the difference between news and commentary. Its easy to be trust worthy when you're just telling everyone what you think.

True news people can't do that. I can't see Charles Gibson ranting about the Democratic or Republican party.

John Stewart is a comedian, which is nothing more than a funny commentator on the world around us. Its easy to trust that.

This survey sounds skewed and disingenuous.

It like saying who was the world's most beloved politician, and you throw in princess Diana. I'm sure some will vote for her, but she wasn't a politician.

July 23 2009 at 2:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
driftwood

First, John Stewart will invariably win because this is an online poll on the internet. The internet loves John Stewart.

Second though, he is trusted because he is the one calling the news out for being dishonest, self-aggrandizing, exaggerated and other negative adjectives.

So of course the people will trust the whistleblower. He's the only one trying to keep the "actual newscasters" honest.

July 23 2009 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bruce

In the wake of Walter Cronkite's death it's warm and fluffy to remember how he was the most trusted man in America.

But I'd suggest that no anchormen/women should be "trusted" - everyone should listen to the news with a skeptical ear. The "trusted anchorman" is an anachronism and frankly that's a good thing. I'm not questioning Cronkite's honor or integrity, but when someone who reports the news - which will always have some facts left out and some intrinsic spin given to the facts that are reported - is highly trusted, I have severe concerns.

Nobody in their right minds would trust any of the TV news reporters on air today. Nor should they.

That being said, I've often said the Daily Show is, sadly, the best source of news in America, and if you're going to trust any news-spewer, Jon Stewart is probably your best choice. So, while I dislike the poll itself, I agree with the result.

July 23 2009 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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