Political Polarization & Media Habits
Liberals and conservatives turn to and trust strikingly different news sources. And across-the-board liberals and conservatives are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals.
Spoiler Alert: Conservatives mostly only trust Fox; Liberals are "less unified in their media loyalty"*
Overall, the study finds that consistent conservatives:
* Are tightly clustered around a single news source, far more than any other group in the survey, with 47% citing Fox News as their main source for news about government and politics.
* Express greater distrust than trust of 24 of the 36 news sources measured in the survey. At the same time, fully 88% of consistent conservatives trust Fox News.
* Are, when on Facebook, more likely than those in other ideological groups to hear political opinions that are in line with their own views.
* Are more likely to have friends who share their own political views. * Two-thirds (66%) say most of their close friends share their views on government and politics.
By contrast, those with consistently liberal views:
* Are less unified in their media loyalty; they rely on a greater range of news outlets, including some – like NPR and the New York Times– that others use far less.
* Express more trust than distrust of 28 of the 36 news outlets in the survey. NPR, PBS and the BBC are the most trusted news sources for consistent liberals.
* Are more likely than those in other ideological groups to block or "defriend" someone on a social network – as well as to end a personal friendship – because of politics.
* Are more likely to follow issue-based groups, rather than political parties or candidates, in their Facebook feeds.