PBS Is Most Trusted

People have lost faith in most institutions, according to many surveys, but one organization continues to rate highly with the public.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and its member stations ranked first in public trust among nationally known institutions, according to a nationwide poll conducted online in January by Marketing & Research Resources, Inc. (M&RR).

PBS ranked ahead of courts of law, commercial cable and broadcast television, newspapers, digital platforms and others.

Thirty percent of respondents said they trust PBS “a great deal.” Next came digital platforms (17%), commercial cable television (15%) and courts of law (15%).

Among other findings:

  • Nearly 80% agreed “that PBS stations provide an excellent value to communities”;
  • 42% said “it is ‘very important’ for PBS to be available to every American, compared to those who said the same for commercial broadcast television (36%) and commercial cable television (21%)”;
  • Parents ranked PBS Kids “the #1 educational media brand for children, with the brand significantly outscoring cable and commercial broadcast television networks”;
  • Among parents with kids age 18 and under, 88% agreed that PBS Kids is “a trusted and safe source for children to watch television, or play digital games and mobile apps,” outrankingDisney Jr. (77%), Disney Channel (77%), Universal Kids (72%) and others.

At a time when President Donald Trump and some Republicans are seeking to eliminate all government funding of PBS, the network ranked second in terms of taxpayer value, with 65% of respondents calling it a “good” or “excellent” value, behind only military defense (72%).

PBS has almost 350 member-stations, and claims to reach nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 28 million people online.


About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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