All-time low for trust in newspapers and TV news

All-time low for trust in newspapers and TV news

The trust in newspapers and television news has fallen to all-time low! Just 16% of U.S. adults now say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Both of them down five percentage points since last year, Gallup says in a survey.

A study by Washington-based Pew Research Center recently showed that 29% of US adults have at least a fair amount of trust in the information they get from news outlets in general, while 27% say they have some trust and 44% have little to none.

Gallup has tracked Americans’ confidence in newspapers since 1973 and television news since 1993. The latest readings are from a June 1-20 poll showing declines in confidence ratings for 11 of 16 institutions measured and no improvement for any of them.

Television news and newspapers rank nearly at the bottom of that list of institutions, with only Congress having less confidence from the public than TV news.

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”While these two news institutions have never earned high confidence ratings, they have fallen in the rankings in recent years”, Megan Brenan, research consultant at Gallup, says in a blog post.

A majority of Americans have expressed confidence in newspapers only once — in 1979, when 51% did. But there is a wide margin between that and the second-highest readings of 39% in 1973 and 1990.

”The trend average for newspapers is 30%, well above the latest reading of 16%, which is the first time the measure has fallen below 20%. The percentage of Americans who say they have “very little” or volunteer that they have no confidence is currently the highest on record, at 46%.”

Confidence in television news has never been higher than its initial 46% reading in 1993 and has averaged 27%, considerably higher than the current 11%.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that confidence in TV news is below 20%. 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.”

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Republicans’ (5%) and independents’ (12%) confidence in newspapers is the lowest on record for these party groups, while Democrats’ (35%) has been lower in the past. Democrats’ confidence in newspapers rose during the Donald Trump administration but fell when President Joe Biden took office.

Confidence in newspapers among partisans today is far below the trend averages for Republicans (24%) and independents (28%) and slightly below average for Democrats (38%). Majorities of Republicans have registered little or no confidence in newspapers since 2017, while this is the first year that independents’ low confidence is at the majority level.

Confidence in TV news follows a similar pattern, with Democrats expressing higher confidence than Republicans and independents. However, Democrats’ and independents’ confidence ratings are down significantly from last year and are now at historical low points — 20% and 8%, respectively. Meanwhile, the 8% of Republicans with a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television news is not statistically different from last year’s 6% record low.

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