Date of this Version
Nebraska Rural Poll, Research Report (November 2021) 21-2, 36 pages
Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Also available at https://ruralpoll.unl.edu/pdf/21metropolltrustinmediainstitutions.pdf
Rural Nebraskans’ confidence in many institutions has not changed much during the past four years. However, more rural Nebraskans have a great deal of confidence in the public safety agencies in their community than they did in 2017. Conversely, fewer rural Nebraskans express a great deal of confidence in the presidency than they did in 2017.
Overall, most rural Nebraskans have confidence in their local institutions (public safety agencies in their community, public schools in their community, and voting and election systems in their county). However, most have very little confidence in many national institutions (the Presidency, the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and voting and election systems across the nation).
Rural Nebraskans are less trusting of many information sources than they were in 2017. While the proportion of rural Nebraskans who trust a lot of the information they get from some of the sources listed remained about the same, the following sources had significant declines from 2017: local TV news, local newspapers, state newspapers, Fox News, public radio, and national newspapers.
This year, rural Nebraskans most trust information received from friends/family/ acquaintances, local news sources (TV and newspapers), and public sources (PBS and public radio). They least trust information from social networking sites, Internet blogs, MSNBC and CNN.
Most rural Nebraskans trust local health professionals for reliable information on the coronavirus. Over eight in ten trust their doctor or other health care professional either some or a lot and just over two-thirds trust their local health department for reliable information on the coronavirus. Six in ten trust state public health officials. At least one-quarter of rural Nebraskans do not at all trust the World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide reliable information on the coronavirus.
Most rural Nebraskans favor having health professionals being the primary authority for public health decisions. Just under four in ten support having local health departments being the primary authority for public health decisions while just over one-third favor having state health departments as the primary authority. Less than one in ten rural Nebraskans think either local or state government should be the primary authority for public health decisions.
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