Confidence in Media at Historic Lows

Survey covered both print and television.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Recent polling by Gallup found that confidence in traditional media outlets is at historically low levels, for both print and television news.
  • Both sectors have lost an average of five percent of viewership in categories of people who had previously had a “great deal” of trust in the traditional institutions.
  • The survey showed that the only institution trusted less in the United States than television news was Congress.
  • Only 11 percent of those polled said they had “quite a lot” of trust in television news while newspaper media only faired a little better, garnering 16% trust.
  • The poll showed that the criminal justice systems and banks were more trusted than the media at this point in history.
SEPARATE STUDY SHOWS US MEDIA LEAST TRUSTED IN THE WORLD:
  • A recent Reuters study found that United States media is the least trusted news media in the United States, with fewer Americans trusting domestic media than residents in any other polled country.
  • The survey covered 46 nations across the world and showed about 44% of citizens of the United States don’t trust the media to report the truth.
  • Of that 44%, 23% “strongly disagree” that they trust the media and only 29% expressed active trust in United States news corporations.
BACKGROUND:
  • Almost a decade of talk of “fake news” accusations from both sides of the political spectrum has caused both conservatives and progressives to mistrust some factions of the media.
  • Fact-checkers on social media and elsewhere seem to have done little to bolster public trust in the nation’s purveyors of news.