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Louisiana Survey: In local media we trust, bias and all

Yes, there’s bias but Louisiana residents generally trust what they read, hear and see on local media. As for the national media … well … not so much.

This according to the sixth, and final, report from the 2018 Louisiana Survey, which overall reveals positive results for local news organizations. Overall, 78% of state residents surveyed trust the information they receive from local news either “a lot” or “some,” while just 57% of respondents trust the information they get from national news. Furthermore, about three-fourths of residents say local news organizations keep them very well informed (25%) or fairly well informed (49%) about state politics.

Fifty-six percent of respondents believe local news organizations generally get the facts straight, compared to 32% who trust the accuracy of reporting by national news organizations.

Though their trust in information is high, 60% of people surveyed think local news organizations are biased in their reporting, with only 36% saying they deal fairly with all sides.

“The results of the survey show that Louisianans value local news outlets and trust those outlets to keep them informed about what is happening around our state and in the nation, but many respondents also want to see more balanced reporting,” says Michael Henderson, director of the Public Policy Lab, which conducted the survey.

The Louisiana Survey, a project of the LSU Manship School of Mass Communications’ Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs, has been conducted each year since 2003 and was conducted twice in 2006 to measure public opinion in Louisiana. This year’s survey included 852 Louisiana respondents and was conducted via telephone between Jan. 26 and March 3. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points. The fifth installment showed most Louisianans support criminal justice reform and Medicaid expansion efforts.

The survey’s first installment showed a growing share of Louisianans are pessimistic about the direction of the state, and a large majority of respondents believe the state is more politically divided than in the past. The second installment showed Louisianans favor tweaks to state income tax rates over sales tax changes to address the “fiscal cliff.”

The third installment showed Louisianans are ambivalent about the role of state government, while the fourth revealed a majority of Louisianans want a more active state government.

Read the full sixth report from the Louisiana Survey here.

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