Stop the Presses! Trust In News Media At All-Time Low


The proportion of Americans who say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the main sources of news -- newspapers, TV news and the Internet -- has fallen to an all time low of around 20%, according to a poll of 1,027 U.S. adults conducted by Gallup from June 5-8.
 
Overall, 22% of Americans said they have this level of confidence in reporting from newspapers, marking another in a series of declines from 23% in 2013, 25% in 2012, and 28% in 2011. Just 18% said they have confidence in TV news, down from 23% in 2013, 21% in 2012, and 27% in 2011. Trust in the Internet remains abysmal at 19% -- basically unchanged from 21% in 1999 (and with essentially no variation in the interim).
 
For newspapers and TV news, these short-term drops are just the latest portion of a long-term decline. Back in 2001, 37% of Americans said they had a great deal of confidence in newspapers, and in 1979, the figure was 51%. In 2000, 36% of Americans said they trusted TV news, and in 1993 the proportion was 46%.

As noted, Americans have never placed much trust in Internet news.

Views on the trustworthiness of newspapers and TV news are correlated with political leanings, with conservatives expressing much less trust in newspapers and slightly more trust in TV news. Just 15% of self-identified conservatives said they have a great deal of trust in newspapers, down from 21% in 2012 and 27% in 2006.

Over the same period, the proportion of liberals who say they trust newspapers has remained basically unchanged from 35% in 2006 to 34% in 2014 (with some fluctuations in between).
 
In 2014, 19% of conservatives said they have a great deal of confidence in TV news, compared to 15% of liberals. The figure for liberals is down 11% from 26% in 2013, while the conservative figure is up 1% from 18% over the same period. However, both figures are down significantly from a decade ago, when 37% of liberals and 30% of conservatives said they trusted TV news.
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