How Americans View News Media and Use Digital Platforms

May 06, 2024 How Americans View News Media and Use Digital Platforms  image

Key Takeaways

  • Americans have a negative view of media outlets overall, but mostly in traditional institutions which reflect the lowest sentiment.
  • Digital news platforms and social media likely have the largest and most profound effect due to their widespread use, personalized content, and emotional connection.
  • Social media platforms provide a space for fact-checking and are a critical aspect of contemporary politics, especially for sharing statements made by politicians and holding them accountable.

Our Methodology


All Voters

Sample Size


Geographical Breakdown


Time Period

7 Days

MIG Reports leverages EyesOver technology, employing Advanced AI for precise analysis. This ensures unparalleled precision, setting a new standard. Find out more about the unique data pull for this article. 

In the current political climate, American sentiment towards political opponents is increasingly polarized, showing a lack of trust between voters, leaders, and pundits. This trend can be seen across all forms of media, from mainstream news outlets to social media platforms, and even in personal conversations.

Many Americans voice a profound sense of distrust specifically towards mainstream media and traditional institutions like academia and government agencies. This is particularly pronounced among supporters of President Donald Trump, many of whom perceive mainstream news outlets as biased against their candidate. Sentiments of mistrust often extend to other traditional institutions, such as the judiciary, which are seen as being manipulated by political opponents.

The way the media and electorate portray political opponents is negative, often bordering on vilification. Incendiary and strong rhetoric has become commonplace in American political discourse. This is particularly apparent in news coverage and discussion of Donald Trump's ongoing legal issues.

Among mainstream media outlets, Trump’s legal challenges are invariably presented in a way that paints him as guilty before proven innocent. This narrative, coupled with the perceived leftist bias of mainstream media, further fuels distrust and animosity towards political figures, institutions, and the media itself.

  • Online discussions show the highest volume of mentions regarding conservative and right leaning individuals like pundits, journalists, and influencers.
  • Mainstream media outlets like cable news and online publications also generate significant discussion.
  • Public sentiment toward conservative individuals and outlets is slightly higher than toward mainstream individuals and outlets.
  • Conservative media sentiment seems to fluctuate the most, averaging 45% with a high of 50%.
  • Mainstream media sentiment fluctuates less and stays lower, averaging 43% with a low of 41%.

Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in the use of inflammatory language and rhetoric when discussing political opponents. This type of discourse serves to further exacerbate division and mistrust among Americans, leading to a climate of hostility and confrontation.

MIG Reports analysis suggests that, unless there is a concerted effort to foster dialogue and understanding between opposing political camps, the level of polarization and mistrust is likely to persist. This could have serious implications for the functioning of American democracy, as well as the overall social cohesion in the country.

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