Similarly, public interest in news about Iraq has faded since the spring of 2004, amid the violent uprising in Falluja and the revelation of abuses at the U.S. prison at Abu Ghraib. At that time, 54% said they were following news about the current situation in Iraq very closely. That compares with 43% in the current survey. There also has been a notable decline in the percentage of Republicans following international news most of the time, and the percentage who say they track news about the situation in Iraq very closely. The fall off in interest has been less dramatic among Democrats and independents.
I wonder if the folks who aren't following the Iraq war are the same ones who drive around with those yellow ''Support Our Troops" decals on their trucks.
One other finding is noteworthy:
Changing public views of CNN perhaps best exemplify these trends. In 1998, 42% of those familiar enough with CNN to rate the network said they believed all or most of what CNN reported, significantly more than for any broadcast or cable news outlet tested. Today, just 28% give CNN the highest believability rating, a share which is statistically indistinguishable from most other television news sources.
Other TV news sources, such as 60 Minutes, C-SPAN, and local news stations, have seen similar declines in credibility over the past decade and no longer stand apart as significantly more reliable than other sources.
One of the few sources that has not suffered a credibility decline in recent years is Fox News Channel. Currently, one-in-four (25%) say they believe all or most of what they see on Fox News Channel, virtually unchanged since the outlet was first tested in 2000. This overall stability, however, belies the increasingly polarized views of the cable channel. An increasing number of Republicans give Fox News Channel the highest rating for believability, while there has been a comparable decline in ratings among Democrats doubling the partisan gap in views of the network's credibility between 2004 and 2006.
Credibility ratings for the three major broadcast networks are comparable; currently fewer than a quarter believe all or most of what they see on NBC News (23%), ABC News (22%) or CBS News (22%). As recently as 2000, closer to three-in-ten rated news from these sources as highly credible, though the networks' ratings have stabilized in the past few years.
Meanwhile, credibility ratings for newspapers remain stable since Pew last measured them.
That said, "No outlet stands out as most reliable."
One last thing: Pew reports that only four per cent of the population regularly read blogs for news.