Report: Fewer Kentuckians Trust Media, More Taking Part in Community Activities

Feb 2, 2017

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes releases results of the 2016 Kentucky Civic Health Index at Western Kentucky University.
Credit Lisa Autry

More Kentuckians are getting involved in their communities, but fewer citizens are trusting of the media.  Those are some of the findings contained in the 2016 Civic Health Index released by Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

Speaking Wednesday at Western Kentucky University, Grimes said the growing distrust of the media is perpetuated by fake news.  As more people get their news online, she said it’s important to get it from multiple sources.

"While it makes people feel good about hearing the same news they like over and over again, and they're communicating with folks of similar values, they're not hearing both sides of a story, and importantly, there's someone making a profit off all of this," Grimes told WKU Public Radio.

Grimes is asking state lawmakers and constitutional officers to sign a pledge to refuse to distribute fake news in an effort to help restore confidence in the media and government.  The pledge is located on the secretary of state’s website.  All elected leaders joining the effort will be publicly listed.

The 2016 Civic Health Index showed that Kentucky has improved in national rankings in social connectedness, community engagement, and voter registration since the first Index was released in 2012.