Perhaps the least surprising story of the day is from Gallup, which released its latest polling on Americans’ trust in media, finding that just 36% have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of faith in what they see and hear in the news.
That figure is the second lowest on record, rivaling the 32% in 2016, during the divisive presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
There’s a wide gap in the trust in mass media among Democrats and Republicans, with the former at 68% and the latter at just 11%. Among independents, the figure is 31%. Gallup said that trust in the media has averaged 45% since 1997, but has not reached a majority level since 2003.
The poll showed that just 7% have a great deal of trust in the media, while 34% have “none at all.” The question asked was, “In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media — such as newspapers, T.V. and radio — when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly — a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?” Of course, complaints about “the media,” as if it were a singular entity, is practically an American pasttime. Other surverys, including ones from Pew Research, showed that there were much higher levels of trust when individual outlets were identified.
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Trust by Democrats ticked up in the early part of the Trump administration, but has since fallen.
The findings come from a poll taken of 1,005 adults from Sept. 1-17. Gallup tracks Americans confidence in major institutions.
The full findings are here.
Pew Research Center also found a big gap in trust among Democrats and Republicans in a recent survey, while generally showing more faith in local news organizations than national outlets. Pew also found far different levels of trust in individual outlets in a 2020 survey, with CNN topping among Democrats and Fox News among Republicans.
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