Pew Research Center has examined how people think about democracy, trust in institutions, and the role of information in society for more than a decade. In light of current debates about the state of the democratic process and the importance of truth, the Center has further deepened its focus on public attitudes about the role of trust and facts in democracy. This page is a curation of the most relevant content on those topics.
Science News and Information Today
Overall, 36% of Americans get science news at least a few times a week and three-in-ten actively seek it. Most get science news from general news outlets, but more see specialty sources as being accurate.
The Fate of Online Trust in the Next Decade
Many experts say lack of trust won’t hinder increased public reliance on the internet. Some expect trust to grow as tech and regulatory changes arise; others think it will worsen or maybe change entirely.
Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions
Republicans and Democrats offer starkly different assessments of the impact of several of the nation’s leading institutions – including the news media, colleges and universities and churches and religious organizations
Americans’ Attitudes About the News Media Deeply Divided Along Partisan Lines
Today, roughly nine-in-ten Democrats say news media criticism helps keep leaders in line, while only about four-in-ten Republicans say the same.
Public Trust in Government Remains Near Historic Lows as Partisan Attitudes Shift
Changes in the dynamics of power in Washington have registered with members of both political parties.
The Future of Free Speech, Trolls, Anonymity and Fake News Online
Many experts fear uncivil and manipulative behaviors on the internet will persist – and may get worse.
Large Majorities See Checks and Balances, Right to Protest as Essential for Democracy
Large majorities of the public, Republicans and Democrats alike, say open and fair elections and a system of governmental checks and balances are essential to maintaining a strong democracy in the United States.
Partisan Conflict and Congressional Outreach
A new Pew Research Center analysis of more than 200,000 press releases and Facebook posts from the official accounts of members of the 114th Congress uses methods from the emerging field of computational social science to quantify how often legislators themselves “go negative” in their outreach to the public.
Trump, Clinton Voters Divided in Their Main Source for Election News
Trump voters named one source more than any other as their main source of election news, whereas Clinton voters were spread across an array of sources.
Many Americans Believe Fake News Is Sowing Confusion
About two-in-three U.S. adults say fake news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues. And nearly a quarter say they have ever shared completely made-up news.