There is little doubt that the public’s trust of mainstream media sources has dwindled significantly in recent years, and one new Gallup poll further reveals what the American people think about national news outlets.
Asked whether they believe most of these organizations “care about the best interest of their readers, viewers, and listeners,” just 23% of respondents said they do.
On the other hand, half of those surveyed said they “feel most national news organizations intend to mislead, misinform, or persuade the public.”
Broken down along partisan lines, the poll found that Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to express trust in national media sources. The survey also determined that a record-high number of independents distrust such organizations.
Although local outlets fared better, waning trust in news media can be seen in virtually every facet of the industry.
Journalist Matt Taibbi, who was instrumental in the release of internal Twitter documents showing the apparent role of government sources in the social media platform’s content moderation decisions, offered his assessment of the state of his industry.
He said of the so-called Twitter Files — and related attacks on himself and other reporters — that the “stories are clearly newsworthy” and would have been fodder for endless news reports under the Trump administration.
“There would have been days and days of headlines of this kind of thing back then,” he added. “Now, there is total unconcern about it. But I’ve been really troubled outside this entire period by the lack of esprit de corps among reporters about the story.”
In a survey conducted last year, Gallup pollsters found a similarly dismal view of mainstream media sources.
Public trust in media is close to non-existent. This new Gallup poll reveals that only the Dem-controlled Congress (7%) is trusted less by the public than TV news (11%), with newspapers (16%) also very near the bottom.
Almost zero self-critique from journalists about why. pic.twitter.com/Okg5Rbh2Ix
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) July 5, 2022
The poll sought to gauge public trust in various institutions and found that TV news ranked above only one other group: the notoriously unpopular U.S. Congress.
A paltry 11% of respondents reported having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in television news outlets, which is five points lower than those who express similar trust in newspapers.
“This is the fourth consecutive year that confidence in TV news is below 20%,” the Gallup survey explained. “And for just the second time in the trend, a majority of Americans, 53%, now say they have very little or no confidence at all in TV news.”