Just half of American adults realise that Facebook does not conduct its own original news reporting, according to a new survey that exposes the poor state of news awareness in the US.
Based on responses from more than 2,000 US adults in June, the Pew Research Center found that many Americans simply don’t know whether digital platforms, including news aggregators, do their own original reporting or not.
The confusion and lack of confidence even extends to some traditional news organisations, such as ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.
According to the Pew study, only 55% of Americans said they were at least ‘fairly’ confident they can differentiate between organisations that carry out original news reporting compared to those that don’t.
However, only 9% of this number reported being ‘very’ confident, while the remainder were either ‘not too’ confident (35%) or ‘not at all’ confident (8%) they could identify original news reporting.
The lack of news savviness was exposed when the Pew researchers presented survey respondents with a list of six different sources they could get news from and asked “Do you believe that each of the following does its own news reporting?”
An astonishing 42% said they were “not sure” if Facebook did its own reporting, while 6% thought it did. Similarly, two-thirds (66%) weren’t sure if Apple News produced original news, while 57% said the same of Google News. Moreover, 11% believed Google News did its own reporting, while 7% said the same of Apple News.
In addition, only around half corrected identified that ABC News (56%) and The Wall Street Journal (52%) did their own original reporting.
Overall, nearly a quarter (23%) could not correctly identify whether any of the six news sources carried out original reporting, while just 7% correctly identified all six.
“Americans largely do not know whether some of these aggregators do their own original news reporting. Even when it comes to more traditional news organizations, there is limited knowledge about where news reporting originates,” the report read.
However, it seems that US consumers are aware of their shortcomings regarding the news because Pew said that “Americans are, at least, largely accurate in self-assessments of their news source literacy: many express little confidence in their ability to identify original reporting.”
Sourced from Pew Research Center