June 1, 2015

Political Media Habits Across Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers

Where do Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers get their news about politics and government? How do media habits differ across these three generations? A Pew Research Center study explores which sources they are familiar with, turn to, trust and distrust.

Panelists were asked whether they have heard of the 36 political sources for news about government and politics. The sortable table below shows the share of online adults in each generation who have heard of each of the sources in the study.

Awareness of News Sources

% of respondents who have heard of each source

Source Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer
ABC News 92% 96% 95%
Al Jazeera America 32% 46% 50%
BBC 74% 79% 76%
Bloomberg 45% 70% 67%
Breitbart 8% 17% 19%
BuzzFeed 40% 32% 26%
CBS News 90% 95% 95%
CNN 95% 95% 95%
Colbert Report 62% 67% 59%
Daily Kos 8% 16% 15%
Daily Show 69% 70% 58%
Drudge Report 22% 40% 39%
Economist 32% 38% 35%
Ed Schultz Show 11% 14% 19%
Fox News 92% 94% 93%
Glenn Beck Program 34% 53% 58%
Google News 78% 72% 66%
Guardian 33% 37% 38%
Huffington Post 62% 70% 66%
MSNBC 86% 91% 92%
Mother Jones 11% 22% 31%
NBC News 92% 95% 95%
NPR 45% 57% 56%
New York Times 82% 89% 83%
New Yorker 59% 69% 68%
PBS 85% 92% 88%
Politico 20% 37% 38%
Rush Limbaugh Show 47% 75% 76%
Sean Hannity Show 30% 50% 53%
Slate 16% 25% 23%
TheBlaze 12% 21% 22%
ThinkProgress 10% 10% 7%
USA Today 84% 94% 92%
Wall Street Journal 73% 88% 85%
Washington Post 72% 84% 83%
Yahoo News 85% 83% 77%

Panelists were asked whether, over the course of the previous week, they got news about government and politics from each of the 42 sources (the same 36 sources asked about for awareness and trust, as well as local television and five social networking sites). The sortable table below shows where online Millennials, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers turn to for political and government news.

Consumption of News Sources

% of respondents who got news about politics and government in the previous week from each source

Source Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer
ABC News 32% 32% 44%
Al Jazeera America 4% 4% 5%
BBC 16% 16% 18%
Bloomberg 3% 4% 6%
Breitbart 1% 3% 4%
BuzzFeed 8% 2% 3%
CBS News 19% 27% 39%
CNN 44% 45% 43%
Colbert Report 15% 8% 7%
Daily Kos 1% 2% 3%
Daily Show 16% 10% 10%
Drudge Report 2% 5% 6%
Economist 4% 3% 4%
Ed Schultz Show * 1% 3%
Facebook 61% 51% 39%
Fox News 30% 36% 47%
Glenn Beck Program 2% 7% 9%
Google News 33% 18% 15%
Google Plus 7% 6% 4%
Guardian 4% 4% 3%
Huffington Post 12% 16% 13%
LinkedIn 2% 3% 4%
Local TV News 37% 46% 60%
MSNBC 22% 27% 33%
Mother Jones 2% 1% 3%
NBC News 27% 35% 47%
NPR 18% 21% 22%
New York Times 17% 9% 12%
New Yorker 3% 2% 4%
PBS 9% 12% 26%
Politico 3% 4% 5%
Rush Limbaugh Show 3% 7% 12%
Sean Hannity Show 3% 8% 13%
Slate 2% 3% 3%
TheBlaze 2% 7% 7%
ThinkProgress 1% 1% 1%
Twitter 14% 9% 5%
USA Today 10% 11% 14%
Wall Street Journal 9% 9% 12%
Washington Post 8% 7% 8%
Yahoo News 27% 25% 21%
YouTube 23% 11% 10%

Panelists were asked whether they trust the 36 sources for news about government and politics. The sortable table below shows the share of online adults in each generation who trust each of the sources in the study.

Trust of News Sources

% of respondents saying they trust each source

Source Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer
ABC News 48% 53% 53%
Al Jazeera America 10% 8% 8%
BBC 37% 36% 35%
Bloomberg 9% 11% 13%
Breitbart 1% 4% 7%
BuzzFeed 4% 1% 2%
CBS News 41% 48% 50%
CNN 60% 55% 50%
Colbert Report 22% 13% 12%
Daily Kos 1% 2% 3%
Daily Show 23% 15% 13%
Drudge Report 4% 7% 11%
Economist 14% 11% 11%
Ed Schultz Show 1% 2% 5%
Fox News 35% 44% 51%
Glenn Beck Program 3% 11% 16%
Google News 38% 20% 17%
Guardian 8% 6% 7%
Huffington Post 20% 19% 15%
MSNBC 37% 41% 39%
Mother Jones 3% 5% 8%
NBC News 47% 51% 53%
NPR 28% 30% 29%
New York Times 41% 31% 28%
New Yorker 15% 13% 15%
PBS 34% 37% 42%
Politico 7% 6% 7%
Rush Limbaugh Show 4% 12% 18%
Sean Hannity Show 3% 12% 18%
Slate 3% 4% 4%
TheBlaze 2% 7% 9%
ThinkProgress 3% 2% 2%
USA Today 33% 33% 35%
Wall Street Journal 28% 31% 34%
Washington Post 25% 30% 27%
Yahoo News 25% 19% 17%

Panelists were asked whether they distrust the 36 sources for news about government and politics. The sortable table below shows the share of online adults in each generation who distrust each of the sources in the study.

Distrust of News Sources

% of respondents saying they distrust each source

Source Millennial Generation X Baby Boomer
ABC News 14% 13% 19%
Al Jazeera America 6% 17% 22%
BBC 9% 7% 6%
Bloomberg 6% 8% 9%
Breitbart 3% 5% 4%
BuzzFeed 14% 7% 4%
CBS News 13% 15% 20%
CNN 16% 17% 25%
Colbert Report 14% 19% 15%
Daily Kos 2% 4% 4%
Daily Show 16% 21% 18%
Drudge Report 7% 11% 9%
Economist 2% 3% 2%
Ed Schultz Show 3% 6% 7%
Fox News 43% 37% 32%
Glenn Beck Program 21% 27% 26%
Google News 13% 11% 9%
Guardian 5% 4% 4%
Huffington Post 14% 19% 19%
MSNBC 15% 23% 26%
Mother Jones 2% 5% 7%
NBC News 15% 17% 22%
NPR 4% 11% 12%
New York Times 11% 16% 20%
New Yorker 9% 10% 12%
PBS 12% 10% 14%
Politico 2% 6% 9%
Rush Limbaugh Show 32% 43% 42%
Sean Hannity Show 17% 23% 23%
Slate 2% 3% 4%
TheBlaze 3% 3% 3%
ThinkProgress 2% 3% 2%
USA Today 9% 15% 13%
Wall Street Journal 7% 11% 11%
Washington Post 9% 13% 18%
Yahoo News 19% 16% 14%

Source: American Trends Panel (wave 1). Survey conducted March 19-April 29, 2014. Based on online adults. See Methodology for sample sizes of each generation. Panelists were asked about their awareness, use and trust of 36 news sources and were also asked about use (but not awareness or trust) of local television news and five social networking sites; see the Get News From tab to see the levels of usage for local television news and the five social networking sites.) Due to the reliance on web respondents, this report focuses on three generations – Millennial, Generation X and Baby Boomer. The Silent generation (aged 69 and older at the time of the survey) is not included in the analysis because of the disproportionately large segment that is not online.