- The Washington Times - Monday, April 2, 2018

A majority of Americans — 77 percent — said traditional news outlets are “fake news,” according to a Monmouth University poll published Monday.

Twenty-five percent say that “fake news” is a story where the facts are incorrect, while 65 percent say it is editorial decisions made by various outlets. Thirty-one percent of people believe this happens “regularly,” and 46 percent say it’s occasional.

A vast majority point to social media as a major problem. Sixty percent say the sites are “partly” responsible for spreading fake news, and 87 percent say outside groups are trying to push fake news stories on sites like Facebook and YouTube

“These findings are troubling, no matter how you define ‘fake news.’ Confidence in an independent fourth estate is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy. Ours appears to be headed for the intensive care unit,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Eighty-one percent of Republicans say spreading fake news is “serious problem” on social media, while 67 percent of Democrats agree.

The poll was conducted March 2-5 among 803 adults via telephone with a plus or minus 3.5 percent margin of error.

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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