Fox, CNN picked as top trusted US cable news outlets, poll finds

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Which major television news outlet is most trusted by Americans? It depends on how you ask the question.

American voters are nearly split over whether Fox News or CNN ranks as the most trustworthy news outlet, according to a national poll released by Quinnipiac University on Monday.

Among the nearly 1,300 registered voters surveyed, 29 per cent said they trusted Fox News the most when asked to choose a single news network. CNN, which calls itself "the most trusted name in news," was picked by 22 per cent of respondents.

But by another measure, Fox News Lagged CNN. Some 20 per cent said they trusted Fox's coverage "a great deal" and 35 per cent said they trusted its coverage "somewhat," for a total of 55 per cent.

Time Warner Inc's CNN was trusted "a great deal" by 18 per cent of those polled and "somewhat" by 43 percent, for a total of 61 per cent.

"It's almost a dead heat," given the poll's margin of error of 2.7 percentage points, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll.

Both of the networks trailed local television news, which was considered trustworthy to some degree by 71 per cent of those surveyed.

Fox, the 21st Century Fox unit touting itself as "fair and balanced," was the overwhelming favourite among Republican voters and CNN was the top pick of Democrats. While men chose Fox over CNN 34 to 18 per cent, women were evenly split.

Trailing CNN and Fox News were Comcast Corp's NBC News and CBS News, each winning 10 per cent, while 8 per cent selected Walt Disney Co's ABC News and 7 per cent chose MSNBC, NBC's cable unit.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,286 registered voters nationwide in telephone interviews between Feb 26 and Mar 2.