Gallup survey reports trust in the media has reached new low
The fall off is especially seen in the opinions of Republicans, with only 1% now saying they trust the media a great deal or fair amount ‘to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.’
The polling firm Gallup has exited the political election polling business, moving towards polling for trends in economics, health and other areas.
The company’s latest poll on trust in the media does, though, have a political angle to it.
Gallup reported today that trust in the mass media had fallen to a new low, with only 32 percent of respondents saying they trust the media to “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”
But while trust in the media among Democrats has fallen slightly, trust in the media among Republican voters has collapsed. Only 14 percent of Republicans now say they trust the media.
“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. 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,” Art Swift of Gallup said.
“It is also possible that Republicans think less of the media as a result of Trump’s sharp criticisms of the press. Republicans who say they have trust in the media has plummeted to 14% from 32% a year ago. This is easily the lowest confidence among Republicans in 20 years.”
Gallup also found that younger respondents were particular leery of the mass media, with only 26 percent of those between 18 and 49 years of age saying they trust the media either a great deal or fair amount. This could be due to the fact that the media endorsements ran overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Younger Democratic voters, however, overwhelmingly supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, while few Republicans ended up supporting Kasich.
“The divisive presidential election this year may be corroding Americans’ trust and confidence in the media, particularly among Republicans who may believe the “mainstream media” are too hyperfocused on every controversial statement or policy proposal from Trump while devoting far less attention to controversies surrounding the Clinton campaign. However, the slide in media trust has been happening for the past decade,” Swift said.
“With the explosion of the mass media in recent years, especially the prevalence of blogs, vlogs and social media, perhaps Americans decry lower standards for journalism. When opinion-driven writing becomes something like the norm, Americans may be wary of placing trust on the work of media institutions that have less rigorous reporting criteria than in the past,” Swift said.
The findings of the Gallup survey are similar to those reported by the PewResearchCenter last year. In a reported entitled Beyond Distrust: How Americans View Their Government, Pew found that 65 percent of those surveyed have a negative view of the news media when answering the question concerning the effect of different institutions on the country. Only the Federal government and the Congress polled worse.
Cross-posted from PoliMedia.press