GALLUP POLL : American Trust in the News Media Falls to Lowest Level in History

Jennifer Harper

  of The Washington Times Reports

A major pollster has some stark news: “Americans’ trust and confidence in the mass media ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly’ has dropped to its lowest level in Gallup polling history, with 32 percent saying they have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media. This is down eight percentage points from last year,” writes Art Swift, an analyst for the Gallup poll, which first asked the nation to weigh in on the press in 1972.

“Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72 percent, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal,” Mr. Swift said.

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The sentiment has fallen slowly and steadily, and has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.

“Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14 percent from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years,” the analyst noted.

Among Democrats, the number is 51 percent, among independents, it is 30 percent.

“While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year,” Mr. Swift said.

“With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press.”

The poll of 1,020 U.S. adults was conducted Sept. 7-11.

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