OETA, PBS rank tops in viewer trust

OETA Executive Director and General Manager Dan Schiedel unveiled results of a nationwide study finding the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and its member stations rated first in trust among nationally known institutions. The public considered public broadcasting an “excellent” use of tax dollars for the 12th year in a row. 

Further, PBS KIDS was considered the safest place for children to watch television, the safest digital media destination, and the top provider of content that helps children learn reading, math and essential skills.

The national poll was conducted in January 2015 by ORC International. Each year, PBS commissions research to measure its performance and value as judged by Americans.

“For 12 consecutive years, the American public and Oklahomans have put their trust in our stations and the work we do each day,” said Schiedel. “We have increased our audience both on-air and through a growing number of digital platforms. While I’m proud of our growing audiences, this is valuable only if we are connecting Oklahomans with content that makes an impact. The results of this study show that we are on the right track.”

PBS CEO Paul Kerger said, “As public service media, we know that earning and keeping the trust of the American people is the most fundamental aspect of our mission.” 

The PBS system was ranked first in public trust, even higher than the nation’s courts.

Nearly 9 in 10 people surveyed said they trust PBS (87% “trust a great deal” or “trust somewhat”). Respondents had nearly twice the level of trust in PBS (48% “trust a great deal”) over the nearest institution, courts of law (24% “trust a great deal”).

In the group surveyed, only military defense outranked PBS as the best value for the American tax dollar. Over three quarters (77%) called PBS an “excellent” (21%) or “good” (56%) use of taxes. Military defense was described as “excellent” or “good” by 75% (26% “excellent” or 49% “good”).
And, More than 8 in 10 participants (81%) believe money given to PBS is “well spent.”

PBS KIDS was ranked #1 as the most educational TV/media brand and significantly outscored cable and television as a “trusted and safe place” for children to watch television, to visit on digital platforms and as a provider of apps for children on mobile devices. 

A news release sent to CapitolBeatOK observed, “OETA leads the PBS system in providing a 24-hour dedicated PBS KIDS channel over-the-air to all Oklahoma families.”

Forty-four percent (44%) of respondents named PBS KIDS the most educational TV/media brand, outscoring the second best brand, Discovery Family, which was considered most educational by 21%. Disney and Nickelodeon were called most educational by 6% of participants each.

Eighty-nine percent (89%) agreed “strongly or somewhat” that PBS “is a trusted and safe place for children to watch television.” Fifty-four percent (54%) agreed with this statement regarding both commercial broadcast and cable television, respectively.

Officials with the tax-supported PBS system said, in the release, “Public broadcasting is America’s largest classroom, its biggest stage for the arts and a trusted window to the world, providing a place for all Americans to access new ideas and information to help every citizen build a brighter future.”

Full results are available here

The survey was drawn by telephone (landlines and cell-phone only homes) January 9-18, among 1,010 adults 18 and older, with 503 men and 507 women.