A new poll says Americans’ confidence in the US media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” has reached an all-time low.
After registering slightly higher trust last year, confidence in US mainstream media returned to its previous record low level of 40 percent this year, the new Gallup survey found.
Before 2004, Americans placed more trust in mass media than they do now, with slim majorities saying they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust, according to the poll.
However, over the course of former President George W. Bush’s re-election season, the level of trust fell significantly from 54 percent in 2003 to 44 percent in 2004, Gallup said.
“Americans’ trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s,” said Gallup, a research-based, global performance-management consulting company headquartered in Washington.
Americans’ trust in the media in recent years has dropped slightly in election years, including 2008, 2010, 2012, and again this year, suggesting that something about national elections triggers skepticism about the accuracy of the news media’s reporting.
The poll also indicates how bias is a key issue for Americans with most of the respondents complaining the media is “too conservative” or “too liberal.”
Declining trust in the news media comes amid a backdrop of lower confidence in many public institutions. Recent Gallup surveys have shown low levels of confidence in Congress, the White House and public schools.