News Interest Index: Fewer Journalists Stand Out in Fragmented News Universe

News Interest Index: Fewer Journalists Stand Out in Fragmented News Universe

Reflecting today's fragmented news landscape, about half of the public offers no specific answer when asked to name the journalist or newsperson they most admire. No journalist is named by more than 5% of the public in response to an open-ended question. While individual mentions are few, the most frequently named journalists continue to include both network anchors and cable hosts. However, there are fewer mentions of network news journalists in the latest survey than in 2007, while mentions of cable news hosts and anchors have held about steady.

The decline in mentions of admired journalists is a response to a wider array of news choices. In 1985, nearly two-thirds (65%) could name a favorite journalist; 35% provided no answer. In 2007, 44% did not name anyone. Currently, 52% offer no name, according to the latest News Interest Index survey of 1,005 adults conducted Oct. 7-10 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

As was the case in 2007, no single person is named by more than 5% of the public, when respondents are asked which journalist or newsperson they most admire. But, in a shift over the past three years, cable newspeople are mentioned about as often as network news anchors and reporters; 17% name journalists or newspeople who are primarily seen on the traditional broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC or PBS), while 16% name people who are primarily seen on cable news channels (CNN, Fox News or MSNBC). By contrast, in 2007 the balance tilted toward the network newspeople: 25% of Americans named network anchors or reporters, while 14% named cable newspeople.

Read the full report, Fewer Journalists Stand Out in Fragmented News Universe on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press' Web site.

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