Recent findings from the Pew Research Center have pointed out that trust may just be a fleeting perception for high end talk talent. In some ways, Millennials, Generation X and Baby Boomers are similar in their overall trust or distrust of news sources. But when you break down the Big 3 (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity), they score terrible with the younger demographic.
Among those between 18 and 33 (Millennials born between 1981 and 1996), only 3% said they ‘trusted” Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck, and 4% trusted Rush Limbaugh. But the 1% difference didn’t help Rush, as 32% distrusted him compared to 21% for Beck and 17% for Hannity.
My first take away is that Millennials don’t like being told what to do. The website Next Web posted an article in May about communicating with the whole new generation. “Rather than trying to impress, be impressive. Don’t appear innovative, innovate. Don’t tell us about your values, do valuable things. Millennials are unlikely to take your word for it anyway. Show them, us.” There was a time when Rush was innovative, but that time has passed. Now, it seems a lot of time is spent telling the audience to trust them. It’s a technical disaster that has backfired greatly. You can’t tell millennials to trust you because it clearly doesn’t work. It explains why shows like The Daily Show have been grabbing their attention. It’s flashy, it’s catchy, and it’s a reflection of their life through entertainment. No wonder they trust that show.
Combine that revelation that nearly 50% of Baby Boomers talk about about politics a few times a week. That number is 35% with Millennials. I’m not sure what’s worse for those who are seeking political discussion — that the content is being ignored OR the content is being rejected.
So you’re wondering what Millennials trust? In order… CNN, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, New York Times, Google News, BCC, MSNBC, and PBS.
The solution may be harder than most talk stations want to face.