PBS and Member Stations are #1 in Public Trust

News Release Date: 
March 28, 2014

For Immediate Release
Nationwide Research Confirms that PBS and Member Stations Are America’s Most Trusted Institution for 11th Consecutive Year

LINCOLN, Neb. (March 28, 2014) - - NET General Manager Mark Leonard announced that PBS and its member stations, including NET, were again named #1 in trust among nationally known institutions, and called an “excellent” use of tax dollars by the American public in a national poll for the 11th year in a row.

This same survey found that the American public considers PBS KIDS the most educational TV/media brand, the safest place for children to watch television, the safest online media destination, as well as the top provider of content that helps children learn reading, math and essential skills.

The research was conducted in January 2014 by the independent, non-partisan research firm ORC International. Each year PBS commissions research to measure its performance and value as judged by its most important stakeholder – the American public.

“I am so grateful to the people of our country for their consistent belief in PBS, our stations and the work we do each day,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “PBS was created to provide the American public with content that inspires lifelong learning, community building and curiosity about the world we share.

PBS Ranks #1 in Public Trust – Significantly Higher Level of Trust Than Courts of Law

Four in 5 people trust PBS (80% “trust a great deal” or “trust somewhat”). The 2014 study marks the 11th time in a row that PBS was called the nation’s most-trusted institution among a consideration set that includes courts of law, newspapers, and others. The study found that respondents had a significantly higher level of trust in PBS (42% “trust a great deal”) over the nearest institution, courts of law (25% “trust a great deal”).

PBS Considered Top Use of Tax Dollars and “Money Well Spent”

Only military defense outranked PBS as the best value for the American tax dollar. More than 7 in 10 (71%) of those polled called PBS an “excellent” (19%) or “good” (52%) use of their tax dollars. Military defense was described as “excellent” or “good” by 73% (23% “excellent” or 50% “good”).  More than 3 in 4 participants (77%) believe federal funding for PBS is money well spent.

PBS KIDS Called #1 Educational TV/Media Brand, Top Builder of Critical Skills, and Safest  On-Air and Online Destination
More than 4 in 10 respondents (44%) named PBS KIDS the most educational TV/media brand, significantly outscoring the second most highly rated brand, Disney, which was considered most educational by 16%. Eighty-five percent (85%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “helps children improve their reading and math skills.” Cable and commercial broadcast television received this rating from 47% and 42% of respondents, respectively.

Eighty percent (80%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that “PBS helps prepare children for success in school and life.” This statement was equated with cable television and commercial broadcast television by 47% and 33% of participants, respectively.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “is a trusted and safe place for children to watch television.” Fifty-one percent (51%) and 49% of respondents agreed with this statement regarding commercial broadcast and cable television, respectively.

More than 3 in 4 respondents (76%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “is a trusted and safe place for children to visit online,” while this statement was attributed to cable television and commercial broadcasters by only 37% and 40% of the sample, respectively.

Seventy-nine percent (79%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS is “the innovator” in children’s educational media. Forty-seven percent (44%) percent and 37% of participants also applied this statement to cable and commercial broadcast television, respectively.

Survey Methodology

The 2014 Public Opinion Poll was conducted by phone, including landlines and cell-phone only homes, within the United States by ORC International’s CARAVAN on behalf of PBS from January 9-12, 2014 among 1,004 adults ages 18 and older. The sample included 502 men and 502 women. Survey results are weighted to be nationally representative of the U.S. adult population.

# # #

CONTACT:  Mary Jane Winquest at (402) 470-6247 or mjwinquest@netNebraska.org.

NET Television:

NET1 is Nebraska's first public television broadcast service and includes PBS and award-winning, locally produced public television programming; NET2 World offers live coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral, and other news and public affairs programming; NET3 Create is a 24-hour channel featuring the most popular how-to, travel and lifestyle series.

NET Nebraska App
NET has developed the NET Nebraska App for mobile devices to provide Nebraskans fast access to live and on-demand Television, Radio and digital content. The NET Nebraska App is available as a free download in the Apple App Store or Google Play. For more information, visit netNebraska.org/apps.

About PBS:

To learn more about how PBS and local member stations are trusted, valued and essential to communities across the country, visit ValuePBS.org.  For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jan McNamara, PBS Corporate Communications, jmcnamara@pbs.org or 703-739-5028.

With more than 350 member stations, PBS offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances.