Is local news failing to hold public officials accountable?

Medill poll shows reader distrust as they get daily news from TV, social media, not newspapers


Fewer than one third of Americans believe that local news media hold public officials accountable, a finding that calls into question whether local journalism is fulfilling  one of its primary missions, according to national poll commissioned by the Medill School at Northwestern University.

The survey, conducted on behalf of Medill by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago, collected responses from more than 1,000 Americans about their consumption of and attitudes toward local news sources. In response to the statement “My local news media hold public officials accountable,” only 3.9% replied “Strongly Agree” and 26.5% replied “Agree,” a total of 30.4% supporting the premise. On the negative side, 11.3% responded “Strongly Disagree” while 18.8% responded “Disagree” for a total of 30.1%. In the middle were 38.7 in the “Neither” category.

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