Bospar and Radius Global Press Credibility Study: 45 Million U.S. Adults No Longer Read the News

Recent joint study from boutique PR agency Bospar and research firm Radius Global reveals that, for Americans who do still read the news, unbiased sources are the key to credibility

SAN FRANCISCO—September 14, 2017—Bospar, the boutique PR firm that puts tech companies on the map, and Radius Global Market Research, one of the largest independent market research companies, today announced the results of their joint Press Credibility Study. The study of more than 2,000 U.S. adults looked at what qualities lend an online news or print article credibility and found that a staggering number of American adults have given up on reading the news altogether.

Nearly 20 percent of American adults don’t read the news

One of the most surprising findings of the study is that nearly 1 in 5 U.S. adults—roughly 45 million people—aren’t reading the news at all, in print or online. What’s more, the older the adult is, the less likely they are to be reading some form of news. U.S. adults who don’t read the news in print or online include:

  • 13 percent of Millennials (21 to 34-year-olds)
  • 15 percent of Younger Gen X (35 to 44-year-olds)
  • 20 percent of Older Gen X/Young Boomers (45 to 54-year-olds)
  • 20 percent of Baby Boomers (55 to 64-year-olds)
  • 28 percent of Seniors (65+ year-olds)

Unbiased sources are the key to credibility

For those who do still read the news, research from an unbiased source—such as a research firm or university—was what the most adults (56 percent) said inspired trust in an article, followed by unbiased reporting by a journalist (50 percent).

Millennials were most likely to be inspired to trust by a catchy headline (23 percent) or an infographic (19 percent), but that’s not to say they don’t value cold hard facts—65 percent said they put their trust in unbiased sources, a higher percentage than any other age group.

“The majority of people are looking for unbiased sources—it is obvious that people want their news to be validated,” said Jill Gress, Vice President of Radius GMR. “The other telling point is that Millennials are looking for catchy headlines and infographics. People have limited time, so they want something to stand out to them, whether a headline or a picture.”

“Americans trust numbers and experts – if they bother to read the news,” said Curtis Sparrer, a principal of Bospar. “A company spokesperson isn’t enough. People are looking for unbiased sources. Marketers’ PR strategy needs to accommodate that need in order to make an impact. That’s going to mean more content that, depressingly, doesn’t include reading. We expect videos and visuals to become the dominant way to reach audiences in the very near future.”

Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Radius Global Market Research on behalf of Bospar from August 3–7, 2017, among adults 21+. A complete survey method is available upon request. For further information, please contact Alessandra Nagy: alessandra@bospar.com.

About Bospar

Bospar is a boutique tech PR firm featuring a team of highly seasoned professionals who exist to put tech companies on the map. Bospar’s principals include a longtime PR and tech industry guru, a former broadcast TV producer and award-winning media maven, a standout PR agency manager from the corporate side of a leading global law firm, and a seasoned executive with both large agency and public company credentials. Bospar’s larger team includes experts in both social and traditional media, as well as financial and analyst relations and public affairs.

For more information, visit Bospar.com.

About Radius Global Market Research

Radius Global Market Research (www.radius-global.com) is one of the largest independent market research companies. For more than 50 years, the business has partnered with global marketers to develop insight-based strategies that drive brand performance. A superior level of senior team involvement is the hallmark of Radius GMR’s approach. Radius GMR is based in New York. Global operations include London-based Radius Europe, Radius MEA in Dubai, and Radius Asia in Beijing. For more information, visit www.radius-global.com