New Zignal Labs Study: Fake News Likely to Remain A Prominent Problem in Media

Millennial Media Habits, Credibility of Alternative News Sites Are Additional Influences in Changing Media Landscape

San Francisco, California, UNITED STATES

SAN FRANCISCO, April 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zignal Labs today announced the results of a new survey on current media trends, with a special focus on how news spreads, the influence of social media platforms, and the consumption habits of millennials and other generations. The survey, commissioned by Zignal Labs and conducted online by Harris Poll in January, was among over 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.

The study revealed that news, whether legitimate or fake, may spread largely because of trust in friends and acquaintances on social media. Over four in five Americans who read news articles on social media (86%) don’t always fact check the information they read; more than half who read articles on social media (61%) are likely to take social action (i.e., liking, sharing, commenting) on the content shared by a friend on social media. 27 percent of Americans who don’t always fact check articles they read on social media admit they also share news articles they don’t fact check. More than two in five Americans who read news articles on social media (43%) said they shared articles their friends have posted, with 16 percent of Americans on social media indicating they trust most or all of the content shared by friends, and another 63 percent saying they trust some of it.

What’s more: media consumption habits among millennials suggest that the old paradigm - newspapers, television and radio - is irrevocably losing ground in favor of social media and alternative news sites.

45 percent of millennials (ages 18-34) - now the largest living generation of Americans - primarily get their news from social media; in fact, nearly three times as many millennials get the majority of their news from online news sites or social media compared to television (68% vs. 23%). 46 percent of millennials say when they read news articles shared by friends on social media they are likely to share the news themselves. Millennials are about three times more likely to trust most/all of the news from alternative/independent news sites than adults ages 55-64 and nearly four times as likely as adults 65 and over (27% vs. 10% and 7%, respectively).

“The age of nightly news and sharing sections of the paper at the breakfast table is diminishing,” said Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Zignal Labs. “Although there’s no question the media is essential to democracy, what’s quite clear from our research is that a growing force of Americans, particularly young people, no longer turn to traditional outlets first. Social media and alternative news sites are gaining ground at the expense of traditional broadcast and print outlets.”

“For brands and public figures with the potential to find themselves in the media spotlight, this means swiftly identifying and maximizing opportunities - or mitigating reputational risk - is more critical now than ever before," Ginsberg remarked. "News simply spreads too quickly with too little oversight to do otherwise."

For additional insights from the survey and to see the full report, visit

Survey Methodology:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Zignal Labs from January 20-24, 2017 among 2,184 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Randy Brasche, 415-683-7871, extension 328.

About Zignal Labs
Zignal Labs turns media intelligence into a strategic asset for the world’s largest brands and enterprises. By analyzing the full media spectrum in realtime, Zignal’s centralized platform empowers corporate communications, marketing and executive teams to understand trends, pinpoint issues and make informed decisions. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the country, Zignal serves customers around the world including Airbnb, IBM, Citrix, PepsiCo, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, The Sacramento Kings, Brunswick Group and FleishmanHillard. To learn more, visit:


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