American Views 2022: Part 1 - News in America: Public Good or Private Enterprise?

Oct 19, 2022
  • Description

A robust press is vital to a healthy democracy. But newsrooms need resources to create reliable news that is accessible and free from influence. 

Since 2017, Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation have studied public opinion on the news media's role in American democracy, with a focus on Americans' expectations and evaluations of the news in delivering on its civic function of informing the public. 

In this report, Gallup and Knight turned their focus to American views on how the news should be sustained. The research underscores the urgency of developing revenue models that will support trustworthy journalism today.

The top findings include: 

  • Most Americans believe news organizations prioritize their own business needs – over serving the public interest
  • Despite Americans' emphasis on the media's commercial nature, seven in 10 Americans say they have never paid for news
  • More than half (52%) believe advertising should be a news organization's largest revenue source
  • Americans, particularly Gen Z and millennials, do show an openness to public funding and reliance on private donations as a way to support the news
  • Events and newsletters could be a promising revenue source