Let’s find out what conservatives really think about local news (not “the media”)

Joy Mayer
Joy Mayer
Feb 25 · 5 min read

We know there’s a partisan divide related to trust in news: people who lean right are much less likely to trust what journalists produce. You probably don’t need polling data to tell you that. A spin through comment sections and reporter inboxes can provide plenty of evidence.

Yet in service of democracy, a shared set of facts and healthy conversations (plus our financial sustainability), isn’t it vital that journalists be seen as credible storytellers, documenters and truth tellers across our polarized communities?

As we first told you a couple of months ago, the Trusting News team is committed to learning more about this problem and helping newsrooms navigate it, and we’re starting with a listening project. We are inviting journalists from local newsrooms to interview right-leaning individuals in their own communities about their perceptions of journalism. (Note: Even the label can be a challenge, and not one size fits all. Right-leaning? Conservative? Republican? That’s one of the many things we’ll address!)

Consider:

  • Would your journalism and your staff benefit from deep conversations with conservatives in your coverage area?
  • Would you appreciate our team’s support to guide and set up those conversations?
  • Would you be willing to share what you learn with us, so we can analyze responses across the country and share them with the industry?

If the answer is yes, let us know by completing this form, also embedded below this post.

We are working with our longtime research partners at the Center for Media Engagement to develop the materials and analyze the results. You’d be guided by them, and by the Trusting News team, throughout the process.

Read below for more details about how the listening project will work:

How would I find people to interview?

Tell me more about these interviews

Our team at Trusting News will also ask you to reflect on the process — what you learned, what surprised you and how it felt — with some questions after the fact.

I don’t work in a local newsroom. Can I still participate?

What’s in it for me?

In addition, we’d love to connect you to other newsrooms who care about this topic. You’d be invited to a dedicated channel on the Trusting News Slack workspace to facilitate the exchange of ideas, and you would be kept in the loop about future training and programming on the topic.

How many newsrooms will be selected?

What comes next?

Still have questions?

Ready to indicate your interest?

Trusting News is designed to demystify the issue of trust in journalism. We research how people decide what news is credible, then turn that knowledge into actionable strategies for journalists. We’re funded by the Reynolds Journalism Institute, the American Press Institute, Democracy Fund and the Knight Foundation. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to our Trust Tips newsletter. Read more about our work at TrustingNews.org.

Trusting News

Advice from the Trusting News project team: Follow along…

Trusting News

Advice from the Trusting News project team: Follow along as we demystify trust in news and empower journalists to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust.

Joy Mayer

Written by

Joy Mayer

Director of Trusting News. It’s up to journalists to demonstrate credibility and *earn* trust. Subscribe here: http://trustingnews.org/newsletter/

Trusting News

Advice from the Trusting News project team: Follow along as we demystify trust in news and empower journalists to demonstrate credibility and actively earn trust.

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