Majority say television is their primary news source amid coronavirus pandemic: poll


A vast majority of Americans say television is their primary source of news as the U.S. hunkers down amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new poll.

The latest Harvard CAPS/Harris poll found that 71 percent of Americans said television news was their primary source of information. Another 51 percent said online news was their primary source of news, while 19 percent said the same about print news.

Another 32 percent of respondents said they were relying on social media to keep them up to date on the latest news.


Cable news networks, along with local affiliated stations have carried President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE’s briefings, along with the White House coronavirus task force on the U.S. response to the pandemic on a daily basis.

Seventy-two percent of respondents said they watch Trump’s daily briefings.

"People are turning to local news for the first time in a long time to find out what’s happening in their community. Fox News ranked next and the power of tv as a communications medium is affirmed," said Harvard CAPS-Harris polling director Mark PennMark PennSwing-state polls suggest a narrowed path for Trump's reelection Exclusive poll: Biden up in Mich., Pa., tied with Trump in Fla. Biden holds 5-point lead over Trump in Pennsylvania: poll MORE. "They are also tuning in big time to the president's briefings, which are seen as more positive than negative."

Members of his task force, particularly Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciFauci quotes 'The Godfather' in response to latest Trump attacks Overnight Health Care: Trump takes criticism of Fauci to a new level | GOP Health Committee chairman defends Fauci | Birx confronted Pence about Atlas Trump's scorched earth style overshadows campaign's message in final weeks MORE, have become widely trusted and popular among the public.

Fauci has employed an effective media strategy of appearing on traditional outlets, like the cable networks, to appearing on popular culture programs, like Barstool’s “Pardon My Take” podcast.


The same Harvard CAPS/Harris poll showed Fauci’s favorability rating at 55 percent.

Governors and mayors across the country have also taken to holding daily briefings in an effort to inform their citizens.

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCalifornia plans to review coronavirus vaccine independently Cuomo: Public should be 'very skeptical' about COVID-19 vaccine The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Goldman Sachs - Tipping point week for Trump, Biden, Congress, voters MORE’s daily briefings have been carried by national news networks as well as the number of cases in the state continues to climb.

This survey was conducted online within the United States from March 24-26, 2020 among 2,410 registered voters by The Harris Poll. Results were weighted for age within gender, region, race/ethnicity, marital status, household size, income, employment, education, political party, and political ideology where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.