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 TrumpFederal plan to contain Washington protests employs 7,600 personnel: report GOP Rep calls on primary opponent to condemn campaign surrogate's racist video Tennessee court rules all registered voters can obtain mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 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 PennThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden leads Trump by 6 points in new poll Biden leads Trump by 6 points as voters sour on pandemic response: poll Poll: Two-thirds of voters say the economy is on the wrong track 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 FauciDemocratic lawmakers introduce legislation to ensure US can mass-produce COVID-19 vaccine The Hill's Morning Report - Floyd eulogies begin; Trump-Esper conflict emerges Overnight Health Care: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective in preventing COVID-19, study finds | WHO to resume hydroxychloroquine clinical research | WHO says no evidence coronavirus is mutating 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 CuomoCuomo says he 'never apologized' to NYPD for saying they 'did not do their job' CDC director warns Floyd protests could be 'seeding event' for coronavirus Former Obama aide goes off on looters: 'There are human beings that live in this goddamn neighborhood' 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.