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Nationwide Survey Confirms That PBS and Member Stations Are America’s Most Trusted Institution for the 14th Consecutive Year

For the 14th consecutive year, a nationwide study recently confirmed that PBS and its member stations are rated #1 in public trust among nationally known institutions. In addition, the same survey found that parents rank PBS KIDS as the #1 educational media brand for children, significantly outscoring cable and commercial broadcast television networks.

The national poll was created by the research team at PBS and was conducted by telephone in January 2017 by Marketing & Research Resources Inc. (M&RR). Each year, PBS commissions research to measure its performance and value as judged by its most important stakeholder – the American people.

“The public’s high trust in PBS and local stations is of paramount importance to our ability to carry out our mission,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. “We were founded on the premise that every person, regardless of who they are or where they live, should have access to educational programming and resources that help them lead full and enriched lives. Our service begins with our nation’s youngest citizens, ensuring that children have the skills needed to succeed in life and in school, and we are especially proud that the American people continue to place a high value on our children’s programming. The recently launched PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream, available through local member stations, will make a meaningful difference in the lives of all children, anytime and anywhere.”

PBS Ranks #1 in Public Trust – Significantly Outscoring Commercial Cable Television and Courts of Law Nearly 8 in 10 people trust PBS (76% “trust a great deal” or “trust somewhat”). The 2017 study marks the 14th time in a row that PBS was called the nation’s most-trusted institution among a consideration set that includes courts of law, commercial cable and broadcast television, newspapers, digital platforms and others. The study found that respondents had a significantly higher level of trust in PBS (42% “trust a great deal”) over the nearest institutions, including commercial cable television (24% “trust a great deal”) and courts of law (22% “trust a great deal”).

PBS KIDS was ranked #1 as the most educational media brand compared to a range of other broadcast and cable networks.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of respondents with kids age 18 and under named PBS KIDS the most educational media brand, significantly outscoring the second most highly rated kids brand, Sprout, which was considered most educational by 11%. Disney and Disney Jr. were called most educational by 8% and 2% of respondents, respectively. Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. were called most educational by 2% and 1% of participants, respectively. Cartoon Network was named most educational by 0% of those surveyed; 15% of survey respondents indicated, “I don’t know.”

PBS is America’s largest classroom, biggest stage for the arts and a trusted window to the world.

To learn more about how PBS and local member stations are trusted, valued and essential to communities across the country, visit

Survey Methodology

This survey was developed by PBS and conducted by phone, including landlines and cell phone-only homes within the United States, by Marketing & Research Resources Inc. (M&RR) on behalf of PBS from January 3-10, 2017, among 1,002 adults ages 18 and older. The sample included 484 men and 518 women. Survey results are weighted to be nationally representative of the U.S. adult population.

For complete survey methodology, please contact Jennifer Rankin Byrne, PBS Corporate Communications, or 703-739-5487.

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