The federal Coalition has extended its lead over Labor in the latest Essential Report, picking up a point on its primary vote to its higher-ever level, 46%, while Labor has dropped a point to 37%. With the Greens dropping a point to 10%, the Coalition has a 2PP lead of 52-48.

Last week Essential also asked about news sources. On a weekday, 64% got their news from commercial television news bulletins, which dropped to 59% on weekends … 55% used online news sites, which went down to 42% on weekends … 42% used newspapers on a weekday, although that rose to 50% on the weekend while 32% used ABC TV news (28% on weekends) and 27% used commercial radio news (17% on weekends). Blogs were used by only 6% of those polled — although they were much more popular with Greens voters (10%) than Labor voters (4%).

Liberal voters were most likely to use internet news sites, newspapers and commercial radio, and Greens most likely to use SBS and ABC radio.

When asked which news sources they trusted most, respondents voted overwhelmingly for the ABC: 82% thought ABC TV news was always or usually trustworthy and 78% thought the same about ABC radio news. SBS TV news also scored highly with 78%. Commercial TV news was next with 69%, followed by internet news sites at 66%, ahead of newspapers on 65% and commercial radio on 62%.

And while online news sites were highly regarded, blogs weren’t — they only scored 17%, with 57% saying blogs were seldom trustworthy or not to be trusted at all. After blogs, the least trustworthy were newspapers — 29% of respondents said newspapers could seldom or never be trusted, compared to 26% for commercial TV news and 27% for commercial radio news. Only 10% of people didn’t trust either ABC or SBS news.

Peter Fray

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