Survey: American Media Is Least-Trusted Media in the World

Americans trust the media in much smaller percentages than populations of other nations.

  • A recently released 2022 Digital News Report found that the American organizations, as a group, are the least trusted media organizations in the world.
  • Data gathered by the Reuters Institute and the University of Oxford found that trust in the news has fallen overall, and has again fallen in the United States.
  • The U.S. has the lowest trust rating, with just 26% of Americans voicing confidence in the news media in the year 2022
  • Worldwide trust in media stands at about 42%, with the overall high being in Finland, where about 69% of residents have faith their media.
  • Results about Americans also showed that those who self-identify as leaning to the political right are much more likely to avoid the news because they believe it to be untrustworthy or biased.
  • The Reuters-Oxford report stated, “Political allegiances can also make a striking difference to why people choose to avoid news.”
  • “In the United States, those who self-identify on the right are far more likely to avoid news because they think it is untrustworthy or biased, but those on the left are more likely to feel overwhelmed, carry feelings of powerlessness, or worry that the news might create arguments,” the report went on to say.
  • “This year we find lower levels of overall trust in 21 of our 46 markets, partly reversing the gains made at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic. Eighteen markets are at a similar level, with just seven on an upward path. The average level of trust (42%) is also a little lower than last year and trust in individual news brands is on a downward trend in most countries.”
  • “One other important data point relates to the difficulty that many younger audiences, and less educated groups, have in understanding journalism as currently practised. In countries such as Australia, the United States, and Brazil, around 15% of younger avoiders say they find news hard to follow – a much higher proportion than older news consumers.”
  • The data from the Digital News report was based on information from news media across six continents and 46 markets worldwide.
  • The global sample included India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, Colombia, and Peru, providing some understanding of how differently the news environment operates outside the United States and Europe.