Survey: Kids Value News But Don't Trust It

Social media is preferred source; family, teachers most trusted

A new study by Common Sense Media found that while young people value news media, they say they are often fooled by fake news, which may account for the fact that only a quarter of them put a lot of trust in the information they get.

The study found that kids 10-18 don't feel the news covers things they care about or misrepresents them when they are part of the story.

"The more we know about how kids get news and how the news makes them feel, the more effective we can be in helping them navigate this new, very tumultuous media landscape," said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense, in a statement.

That landscape is one in which the president attacks the media as liars, plotters and enemies.

According to the survey, 70% of the respondents said that the news makes them feel smart and knowledgeable, but 63% also said what they see is disturbing and causes them to feel afraid, angry or depressed.

Only 44% said they can distinguish fake news stories from real ones, and among those who have shared a news story online in the past six months, almost a third (31%) said they had shared one they later found out was wrong or inaccurate.

Social media trumps traditional media as kids' preferred news source, 39% to 24%, though families and teachers comprise the most trusted source, cited by 48% of respondents.

"Kids trust the adults in their lives more than the news media, but they still turn to social media for information, which is why we need to help them filter out misinformation and understand where the news is coming from," said Jessica Lindl, general manager, Common Sense Education, of the study.

The survey was conducted in January among 853 children ages 10–18 drawn from "a nationally representative panel, as well as an oversample of African-American and Hispanic/Latino children drawn from an opt-in Web panel," Common Sense said.