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WCPO is participating in a study to better understand why many conservatives don't trust the media

Posted at 5:00 AM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 05:00:21-04

It is clear that people who are politically conservative have concerns about journalism.

Only 10 percent of Republicans generally trust what they see in the news, according to a Gallup poll from last year.

While many journalists point to national news -- in particular the pundit-heavy cable networks -- as being the primary culprit, there are still plenty of conservatives who don’t trust local news.

And I’m not talking about people who harbor deep conspiracy theories. I have many Republican friends who raise concerns about the news -- often valid concerns.

That’s why as part of our commitment to build trust with our community, WCPO 9 is partnering again with Trusting News and the Center for Media Engagement to participate in a study of conservative members of our audience. The project is called Re-engaging the Right.

The information WCPO and other participating newsrooms gather will be published in a study later this year. It also will help journalists here at WCPO better understand our audience.

To get involved, simply fill out this survey.

The survey will send the data to the Center for Media Engagement, which will tabulate the results for the study, coming out later this year.

If you are willing to be interviewed, the Center will then share your contact information with me. Along with a few others on our team at WCPO, we will review the information and select three to five individuals to interview using Zoom. We will record these interviews and share them with our partners.

We participated in a similar study in 2017, but that study focused on people with a variety of political leanings. This study is focused entirely on people with conservative views.

I know when I interviewed people for this project four years ago, I found the conversations valuable and enlightening. I’m sure this study will be equally important. I’m hopeful we can learn things that will help us bridge the political divide when it comes to trusting journalism.

I understand and believe that trust is hard won -- and easily lost. We won’t win back conservative readers and viewers overnight.

But we have to try.

Bi-partisan public discourse is too important not to.

If you have questions or want to share your thoughts directly with me, as always feel free to email me or contact me on Twitter.

Mike Canan is the Senior Director of Local Media Content at WCPO 9. Contact him at mike.canan@wcpo.com. Follow him on Twitter or Instagram at @Mike_Canan.

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