Poll: 72 percent say traditional outlets 'report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading'

Poll: 72 percent say traditional outlets 'report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading'
© Greg Nash

Seventy-two percent of Americans believe "traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading," according to a new poll from Axios and SurveyMonkey released on Thursday.

The poll of nearly 4,000 adults shows that 92 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents "say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes," a finding in line with other recent polls conducted by Pew Research and Gallup.

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It found the sentiment extends to those who identify as independents and Democrats, with 79 percent of independents also saying traditional outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes. Democrats agree by a slight majority of 53 percent.

The poll also found that almost two-thirds of those polled say fake news "is usually reported because people have an agenda." About one-third of those polled say false information is reported because of "poor fact-checking" or laziness.

A very small percentage, or three percent, say fake news "makes headlines by accident."

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats say they use Google searches to verify facts. Less than half of Republicans, or 48 percent, do the same.

In terms of using fact-checking websites such as FactCheck.org or Snopes.com, 43 percent of Democrats say they utilize such resources, while only 30 percent of Republicans and 29 percent of independents do the same.

Trust in media was once at 74 percent in 1976 in the post-Watergate reporting era, according to Gallup.

That number dropped to 32 percent in 2016, the last time Gallup polled on the question. Just 14 percent of Republicans said they trusted the media in that poll.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMia Love pulls ahead in Utah race as judge dismisses her lawsuit Trump administration denies exploring extradition of Erdoğan foe for Turkey Trump congratulates Kemp, says Abrams will have 'terrific political future' MORE has helped fuel distrust in the media even more since announcing his candidacy, often attacking the media as "fake news" and arguing that sources used in some stories "don't exist."