Pew: Americans Skeptical Toward News Media (News & Tech)

August 31, 2020

Article by: News & Tech

Pew: Americans Skeptical Toward News Media
Many Americans remain skeptical toward the news media, questioning not only the quality of journalists’ work but their intentions behind it, says a Pew Research Center analysis, which culminates a yearlong study on Americans’ views of the news media. For instance, no more than half of U.S. adults have confidence in journalists to act in the best interests of the public, or think that other Americans have confidence in the institution. And the public is more likely than not to say that news organizations do not care about the people they report on. While most Americans (61%) expect the news they get to be accurate, nearly seven-in-ten (69%) think news organizations generally try to cover up mistakes when they do happen, says the analysis.

The reasons for why Americans think these mistakes happen underscore the distrust that substantial portions of the public feel: Many say that careless reporting (55%) or even a desire to mislead the public (44%) are major factors behind significant mistakes in news stories, although other, less negligent or nefarious reasons such as the rapid pace of breaking news (53%) also are seen as responsible for mistakes, the analysis says. Six-in-ten U.S. adults also say news organizations are not forthcoming about conflicts of interest. A vast majority of Americans (80%) think that the news they get is at least “somewhat” influenced by financial and corporate interests, says the analysis.

Trib Total Media Bringing Back Print Editions
Starting Sept. 3, print editions of Trib Total Media’s weekly community newspapers will again be delivered to the mailboxes of more than 154,000 households across the region each week, Trib Total Media (southwestern Pennsylvania) has announced. The EverybodyShops weekly shoppers will publish every other week.

Earlier this year, Trib Total Media ceased printing weekly editions of its 14 community newspapers: Advance Leader, Penn Hills Progress, Norwin Star, Penn-Trafford Star, Murrysville Star, The Times Express, South Hills Record, The Signal Item, Sewickley Herald, Pine Creek Journal, Hampton Journal, Shaler Journal, North Journal and The Herald along with eight EverybodyShops weekly shopper publications.  “We are very pleased to be able to put these community newspapers back into production each week,” said Al DiCroce, Trib Total Media advertising director. “It’s a sign of the times that our economy is slowing but surely opening back up.” Provides Texts on School Reopenings (serving a number of New Jersey papers, including The Star-Ledger, The Express-Times and other daily and weekly papers) has launched a Subtext campaign sending text updates on school reopenings in New Jersey. The N.J. Schools News campaign signed up 1K+ subscribers within the first 24 hours of its launch last week, says Subtext. The text alerts are free, and says it will only send texts when it matters. Advance Local owns  Subtext is part of The Alpha Group, the in-house tech and media incubator for Advance Local.

Clarity Media Launching Online Denver Paper
Clarity Media Group says that it will begin publishing a daily, Denver-focused digital newspaper starting Sept. 14. With more than 50 staff and contributors, the Denver Gazette will publish “more hard-hitting news, investigative journalism and thought-provoking local opinions than any other publication in the city,” says a press release on the launch.

The Denver Gazette will be led by Publisher Chris Reen, Editor Vince Bzdek, News Editor Jim Bates and Digital Editor Chuck Hickey. Among the paper’s staff and contributors are familiar names to Denver including Lynn Bartels, Woody Paige, Joey Bunch and Paul Klee, says the release.  “We’ve long considered publishing a Denver newspaper,” said Ryan McKibben, president and CEO of Clarity Media Group. “The timing and market dynamics aligned, making this the ideal time to launch a next-generation newspaper that will satisfy a growing demand for trustworthy, locally-owned journalism.” Clarity Media Group is a Denver-based media company that owns newspapers, magazines and digital news. Its properties include the Denver Gazette, Colorado Springs Gazette, Colorado Politics, Out There Colorado and the Washington Examiner.

Los Alamos Monitor Ceases Publication
The Los Alamos Monitor (New Mexico) will publish its last edition on Aug. 30, the paper announced. Landmark Community Newspapers owns the paper. The COVID-19 pandemic has hurt a business that had been struggling, the paper said. Monitor employees will go on producing a sister paper, The Las Vegas Optic, up to the point the Monitor building has a buyer, the paper said. Landmark Community Newspapers President Mike Abernathy said the company would consider selling the paper as well. Those with interest can call him at (502) 513-1143. The Monitor is the sole paid circulation paper serving Los Alamos County, the paper said.

Plans to Launch Facebook News Internationally; Other Facebook Items
Several items of note to report involving Facebook.
• Facebook is accelerating its plans to expand Facebook News internationally. The company aims to launch Facebook News in multiple countries within the next six months to a year and is considering the U.K., Germany, France, India and Brazil. In each country, the company will pay news publishers to “ensure their content is available in the new product,” says Facebook.

• After Facebook raised concerns over lost ad revenue due to Apple’s iOS 14 privacy changes, other digital publishers have chimed in. One publisher says ad rates on iOS could fall as much as 40%, The Wall Street Journal and 9to5mac reported.

• Facebook has introduced Facebook Shop, a new place to discover businesses and shop for products in the Facebook app, says Facebook. Facebook started testing this in the U.S. and launched a complementary shopping destination on Instagram in July, called Instagram Shop.

• Facebook says Apple rejected its effort to tell people that Apple would take a 30% cut of sales in a new online events feature, Reuters reported. Apple made Facebook take that info off to get the tool to users, says Reuters.  Facebook also aimed to inform users on the Google Play store that Facebook wouldn’t take a fee for ticket sales, but that message was also not shown, says Reuters. Apple is also in a high-profile corporate spat with Fortnite creator Epic Games, which is suing Apple.

• Facebook has a new account linking tool that provides a better experience for people on Facebook when they see and access content from publishers they subscribe to, says the company. Facebook is collaborating with publishers around the world to test this new product, which allows people to link their news subscription accounts on Facebook. Once implemented, linked subscribers will not meet paywalls when accessing articles from Facebook and won’t be asked to sign-in repeatedly, a common pain point many subscribers and publishers face today, says Facebook.

LA Times Owner Pledges Staff Shift
Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong has pledged to make a quarter of the Times’ newsroom Latino over the next five years, The Wrap and others reported. “Our staff makeup and coverage should better reflect the fact that one in two people in LA County is Latino. This should go without saying,” said a recent letter from Soon-Shiong to the Times’ staff and Latino Caucus.

The letter also spells out other efforts at the Times, including “new metrics that evaluate managers’ adherence to diversity initiatives and hiring,” a new talent and culture editor to meet with the Latino Caucus to discuss openings and promotion opportunities and the formation of a database with the names of journalists recommended by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, says The Wrap. Soon-Shiong’s letter comes after a social media push from the Latino Caucus. In June, Soon-Shiong responded to a letter from the Times’ Black Caucus on black journalist retention and other matters. The paper released a report in June with info on the staff’s diversity.

More News
• Free Press has launched News Voices: Colorado, a collaboration with the Colorado Media Project and COLab to “ensure that communities across the state have access to the information they need and are represented in the stories being told.” The nonprofit Free Press has an office in Washington, D.C., and remote staff around the country.

• The Marinette Menominee EagleHerald (Wisconsin) is going from an all-print, six-day publication to a combination print and online edition. Starting on Sept. 28, the EagleHerald will come out in print form on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week, the paper says. Adams Publishing Group owns the paper.

• William Loughman III, a Fremont business owner, has bought the Fremont Tribune (Nebraska) building on Main Street, the paper reports. Lee Enterprises owns the paper.

• Finland-based UPM plans to sell its newsprint plant in Wales in a restructuring, Business Live reports.


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