AccountabilityJanuary 6th

News Sources and Views on January 6th: Media Consumption in Six Battleground States


Media plays a major role in US politics and there are so many different places people can get their news. We at Public Wise Research were interested to understand if there were any associations between where people get their news and what they think about the importance of accountability for January 6th, their views on the January 6th hearings, and their trust in the media.

In our poll of registered voters in six battleground states, we asked extensive questions about where people get their news in order to answer these questions. In this report, we detail partisan and ideological difference in preferred news source and how those sources relate to attitudes about January 6th.

Summary of Key Takeaways

  • Self-identified Democrats and liberal independents are more trusting of the media – both their own news sources and the media in general.
  • While self-identified Republicans are less trusting of the news, they have a higher level of trust in their own news sources relative to their trust of the media overall.
  • Newspaper reading and watching TV news is associated with having more trust in the press, listening to podcast news is correlated with having less trust in the press but more trust in one’s own news sources.
  • Where people get their news varies by partisan ideology: newspaper and television are more popular sources for left-leaning Americans in battleground states, and radio is more popular for right-leaning Americans.
  • The vast majority of respondents in battleground states say accountability for January 6 participants is somewhat or very important, consistent with our previous research on this question.
  • The type of media Americans get their news from is correlated with their views on accountability, and the relationship differs across different kinds of partisan ideologies.
  • Among conservative and moderate independents, as well as Republicans, reading newspapers and consuming TV news were associated with placing higher importance on accountability for January 6 participants.
  • For moderate independents, getting news by podcast was associated with thinking accountability was much less critical.
  • Getting news by social media or radio was not associated with views on accountability, across the political spectrum.

Read the report for more details on our in-depth analysis. You can also read toplines and crosstabs on media consumption  here and you can find toplines and crosstabs related to the rest of the battleground survey here.