ARLINGTON, VA – June 10, 2008 – For the fifth consecutive year, a GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media poll shows Americans consider PBS the nation’s most trusted institution among nationally known organizations and an excellent value for taxpayer dollars, second only to the defense of our nation. The non-partisan, international research company released the comprehensive results from its national opinion survey, which was conducted to gauge the attitudes of Americans towards PBS and other major national institutions, including courts of law and commercial broadcast television networks.
According to 1,000 randomly selected Americans spanning the across the country, PBS programming rates the highest in satisfaction over cable television, and twice more than commercial networks. Once again, the research also revealed that PBS has the most fair and unbiased news and public affairs programming on television today, surpassing all commercial networks, CNN and MSNBC.
“PBS and its member stations are deeply proud of the trust the public places in us. Recognizing the extraordinary responsibility that comes with this honor, we strive to serve as an essential resource for Americans of all ages – broadening horizons, opening minds and enriching lives. It’s gratifying to know so many citizens value our work,” said PBS President and CEO Paula A. Kerger.
Additional survey highlights:
PBS remains #1 in public trust, with 48% trusting PBS a great deal. Second in trust are “courts of law,” which are trusted a great deal by 25%.
Among those polled, PBS was found to be an “excellent” use of tax dollars with 19%, second only to military defense which garnered 22%.
Americans stated that they are the most satisfied with programs found on PBS compared to cable and commercial broadcast. Thirty-five percent stated they were “very satisfied” with PBS programs; compared to cable’s 20% and commercial broadcasting’s 14%.
The majority of Americans think it’s very important to have public television (57%). Two out of five Americans think the same about commercial broadcast television (40%). Just over a third thinks it’s very important that we have cable television (34%).
PBS remains the network with the most trusted news and public affairs programs, with 41% trusting its programs a “great deal.” CNN came in second with 30% and FOX News third at 27%.
Forty percent of Americans rated the news coverage, investigations and discussions of major issues on PBS programs as “mostly fair.” CNN and CBS tied for second at 32%.
The majority of Americans believe the federal funding PBS receives is insufficient. When informed that public broadcasting receives 15% of its funding from the government, and that this amount translates to about one dollar per person per year of government support, 51% believe this amount is “too little,” 35% say it’s “about right” and only 7% state that it’s “too much.”
Commissioned by PBS, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media independently administered the annual telephone survey to 1,001 adults between the ages of 25 to 75 years old during February 4-18, 2008. To maintain objectivity throughout the survey, the questionnaire did not identify PBS as the sponsor, and wherever PBS and other media, organizations or services were evaluated together, a questioning randomization process was employed to ensure that both PBS and its competitors in a given category were treated equally in terms of positioning for any particular question. Moreover, any questions asked about PBS only were asked at the end of the survey, after the comparison questions were completed.
PBS, with its 355 member stations, offers all Americans – from every walk of life – the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 73 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs have been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and Web site, pbskids.org, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.
About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media
GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media is a division of GfK Custom Research North America specializing in customized public opinion polling, media & communications research, and corporate reputation measurement – in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media draws from GfK’s syndicated consumer tracking services, GfK Roper Reports® US and GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and more than 25 other countries. Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is part of the GfK Group. With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, the GfK Group is the No. 5 market research organization worldwide. Its activities cover three business sectors: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, and Media. The Group has more than 115 companies covering over 90 countries.