A new Gallup poll released today illuminates a striking condemnation on the American news media — people don’t trust them. When asked if they trusted the news media in the U.S., only about one third of those surveyed answered in the affirmative — the lowest number since they bagan asking this question back in the 70’s. Gallup reports:
[We] began asking this question in 1972, and on a yearly basis since 1997. Over the history of the entire trend, Americans’ trust and confidence hit its highest point in 1976, at 72%, in the wake of widely lauded examples of investigative journalism regarding Vietnam and the Watergate scandal. After staying in the low to mid-50s through the late 1990s and into the early years of the new century, Americans’ trust in the media has fallen slowly and steadily. It has consistently been below a majority level since 2007.
What may be even more interesting (or disconcerting) are the numbers that emerge when you break-down the party affiliations of those answering the question. Democratic party voters seem to be much less concerned about the trustworthiness of the media than Republicans and independent s over the long-run; suggesting that a concentration of ideological proclivity may be occurring in some demographic influencing news media power-structures.
What do you think? Is the media trustworthy? Are a select handful of major outlets driving this downward spiral of negative opinion? Have ideological hands grabbed the reins of power at a majority of news organizations? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.