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Maryland poll: Traditional media and internet more trusted than social media for research news
Date:5/11/2011

WASHINGTONMay 11, 2011Most Maryland residents trust the health and medical research information provided by traditional medianewspapers (77%), television (71%), magazines (68%), radio (66%)and the Internet (also 66%), according to a new state poll commissioned by Research!America. Social media fared less well, with 51% saying social media is not trustworthy for health and medical research issues. Fewer than 20% use their cell phone or other mobile device to find health information.

The Maryland poll findings were released today at a forum on science journalism at the National Press Club convened by Research!America, Pfizer Inc and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism, School of Public Health and School of Public Policy.

"The modern media landscape has become very complex, which creates many more opportunities to communicate with many more people of all ages and backgrounds," said Kevin Klose, dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland. "At the same time, this presents a challenge in communicating about complex issues such as medical and health research findings."

One such challenge is public trust in news sources and spokespeople. Marylanders largely trust journalists as spokespeople for science news (59% see them as trustworthy), but even more so the state's residents trust science news coming from scientists (88%), health care professionals (86%) and nonprofit and voluntary health organizations (75%).

A majority (62%) trust the scientific community as much today as they did five years ago. Slightly fewer (54%) trust the media as much now as five years ago. Just 27% trust elected officials as much now as five years ago; 63% say less.

While 40% say they hear or read more about research in the news than five years ago, two-thirds say they would like to see more news coverage of science and research.

Strong public appetite for more science news presents a
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Contact: Eva Maciejewski
emaciejewski@researchamerica.org
571-482-2712
Research!America
Source:Eurekalert

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