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Are Americans Good At Distinguishing Between Facts, Opinions In News?

A Pew Research Center study found that some Americans struggle to differentiate between fact and opinion statements in news stories.
Posted at 4:46 PM, Jun 18, 2018

Pew Research Center study found that identifying factual versus opinion statements in news stories can be challenging for some Americans.  

Pew researchers surveyed around 5,000 adults and found that most were able to correctly discern between facts and opinions in a majority of the statements. But just 26 percent could identify all of the factual statements, and around a quarter identified most or all incorrectly.  

The findings also showed that participants who classified themselves as Republicans and Democrats were more likely to call a news statement factual if it leaned toward their own party, even if it was really an opinion. In addition, news consumers with "high political awareness" and those who were "digitally savvy" did a better job of distinguishing between the two.

Pew's director of journalism research says, "Overall, Americans have some ability to separate what is factual from what is opinion, but the gaps across population groups raise caution."