Press Release updated: Oct 3, 2018 08:00 EDT

NEW YORK, October 3, 2018 – Simmons Research, the leading source of essential consumer intelligence, today released its News Media Trust Index, a trustworthiness ranking of 38 of the largest and well-known news sources. Among its many findings, the News Media Trust Index found that the average percentage of respondents who rated news sources as trustworthy or very trustworthy was just 40%, a clear sign the news media is in crisis.

Topping the list across all news sources, and the only newspaper in the top five, was the Wall Street Journal with 57.7% of Americans trusting them. Also performing well were the major television network news organizations, with ABC (55.9%), CBS (55.4%), and NBC (54.1%) ranking as the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th most trusted sources. Forbes was the most trusted magazine and rounded out the top five, trusted by 54.2% of Americans.

News Media Trust Index (Top 20 of 38)

Rank News Organization % of Americans who trust
this news organization


  The Wall Street Journal



  ABC News                            55.9%


  CBS News                            55.4%


  BBC News                            55.2%
     5   Forbes                            54.2%
     6   NBC News                            54.1%
     7   The New York Times                            53.8%
     8   The Washington Post                            53.6%
     9   USA Today                            51.1%
    10   The Washington Times                            50.0%
    11   MSNBC                            47.4%
    12   Reuters                            46.6%
    13   Bloomberg                            46.3%
    14   CNN                            46.1%
    15   NPR                            45.1%
    16   Chicago Tribune                            44.8%
    17   Fox News                            44.7%
    18   The Economist                            44.7%
    19   LA Times                            42.9%
    20   Huffington Post                            38.4%

Among cable news, the most trusted network in the US was ironically not American. BBC News was trusted by 55.2% of Americans and was the fourth most trusted news source. CNN was fourth behind BBC News, MSNBC (47.4%), and Bloomberg (46.3%). Fox News came in 17th place, with just 44.7% of Americans trusting them.

The least trusted news sources were all Internet-first and hyper-partisan in nature (both liberal and conservative) representing brands that have been consistently rated as misleading and inaccurate by fact-checkers. The six organizations trusted least were split evenly between far-left and far-right news sources, and on average were trusted by only about one in four Americans.

Thirteen percent of Americans found none of these news sources to be trustworthy. This segment of consumers, identified by Simmons as “doubters” seem to think all news is fake news. Interestingly, this group, while they were less likely to vote overall, voted heavily for Donald Trump (62.2% Trump v. 27.8% Clinton).

To read more about the doubters segment and to see the complete rankings, visit

About Simmons Research

Simmons Research is the leading source of cross-channel consumer intelligence. Simmons measures American consumer psychographics, preferences, attitudes, and media behaviors by closely overlaying survey and passively measured data using advanced measurement sciences. For more than 60 years, Simmons has helped leading brands, agencies, and media companies effectively engage with consumers, providing measurement of over 200,000 consumer elements, including all major media, 600 attitudes and opinions, 500 product categories, and 8,000 brands. For more information, please visit and follow @simmonsresearch on Twitter.

About the News Media Trust Index

Derived from Simmons’ annual Omnibus survey to American adults, the Simmons News Media Trust Index ranks how trustworthy or untrustworthy respondents found 38 of the largest and most well-known news sources commonly available in the U.S. News sources included represented a wide variety of mediums, including print, online, radio, and television with many of them operating across platforms.

Media Contact:
Matt Cumello, Senior Marketing Director
[email protected]

Source: Simmons Research

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