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WITF is Most “Greatly Trusted” Information Source

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Jan 11, 2011 7:48 PM

These findings are consistent with national polls; for the seventh consecutive year, the 2010 Roper Poll found PBS to be the most trusted institution in the nation, ranking at the top in public trust among every age group, ethnicity, income and education level measured.

Media users from across the political spectrum had high levels of trust in WITF, as well: 21% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats and 30% of independents had a “great deal of trust” in news and information from WITF. Local commercial stations (TV and radio) earned a “great deal of trust” from just 19% of Republicans, 16% from Democrats and 15% of independents. Local newspapers earned a “great deal of trust” from 22% of Republicans, 18% of Democrats and 16% of independents.

On the question of federal funding for public television and radio, nearly three in five respondents said federal funding (currently at $1.35 per American citizen per year) is too low or about right. Support for maintaining or increasing federal funding came from across the political spectrum as well: 46% of Republicans, 72% of Democrats and 69% of independents said federal funding should stay the same or increase.

“This study confirms what we’ve heard from citizens in central Pennsylvania for many years: WITF is a highly trusted and trustworthy source of news and information,” said Kathleen Pavelko, WITF’s President and CEO. “Even in a highly partisan political environment, citizens from across the political spectrum can agree on one thing: WITF.”

At the national level, the 2010 Roper poll found that about 80 percent of respondents, across all age groups, ethnicity, income and education level measured, believe funding for PBS is money “well spent.” Respondents also found PBS to be an “excellent” use of tax dollars, second only to military defense and ahead of public schools.


More than three in four (78%) south-central Pennsylvania adults regularly view or listen to WITF. These users are overwhelmingly positive about the programming offered through WITF and most users describe the media organization as high quality, educational, fair and trustworthy.

Full results of the research study:

WITF Counts: Service to Central Pennsylvania

Central Pennsylvania Residents" Attitudes Toward and use of Public Broadcasting

WITF Public Media Impact 2010

About the study: A survey of 602 south-central Pennsylvania residents was conducted December 27 - 29, 2010. The survey was designed by Terry Madonna Opinion Research on behalf of WITF and the interviewing was conducted by Susquehanna Polling of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The sample error for the total sample is plus or minus 4.0 percent. Telephone numbers for the survey were generated via random digit dialing. Respondents were randomly selected from within each household. The final sample was weighted to correct for differential probabilities of selection and non-response using an iterative weighting procedure.

For more information about the survey, contact Erin Stine at Erin@MoxieDM.com or Arden Bortzfield at Arden_bortzfield@witf.org. Click for more information on WITF.

Listen to Kathleen Pavelko on Radio Smart Talk (1/13) discussing the survey results:

WITF Coverage Area

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