Americans’ Trust in American News Organizations Declines: Study | Media news

A new study says only 26 percent of Americans have a ‘favorable opinion of the media’ – the lowest in five years.

Half of Americans in a recent poll said they believe the national news outlets use their reporting to mislead, misinform or persuade the public to take a particular point of view.

The survey, released Wednesday by Gallup and the Knight Foundation, goes beyond others that have shown low levels of trust in the media to a surprising point where many believe there is an intent to deceive.

When asked if they agree with the statement that national news outlets do not intend to deceive, 50 percent said they disagree. Only 25 percent agreed, the survey found.

Similarly, 52 percent disagreed with the statement that disseminators of national news “have the best interests of their readers, viewers and listeners in mind,” the survey found. It said 23 percent of respondents believed journalists acted in the public’s best interest.

“That was pretty telling for us,” said Sarah Fioroni, a consultant for Gallup. The findings showed a depth of mistrust and ill feeling that goes beyond the foundations and processes of journalism, she said.

Journalists must go beyond emphasizing transparency and accuracy to demonstrate the impact of their reporting on the public, the study says.

“Americans don’t seem to think that national news outlets care about the overall impact of their reporting on society,” said John Sands, Knight’s senior director of media and democracy.

In small consolation, Americans had more confidence in local news in both cases.

The ability of many people to get news instantly from handheld devices, the rapid pace of the news cycle, and the increased number of news sources would indicate that more Americans are keeping up with the news than ever before.

Instead, information overload seems to have had the opposite effect. The survey says 61 percent of Americans believe these factors make it harder to get information, while 37 percent said it’s easier.

Like many other surveys, a recent Knight and Gallup poll found that Democrats trust the news more than Republicans. Over the past five years, the level of mistrust has increased especially among independents. Overall, 55 percent of respondents said there was a lot of political bias in reporting, compared to 45 percent in 2017.

In a finding that reflects the financial struggles of some news organizations and declining ratings for television news networks, the survey found that 32 percent of Americans said they pay a lot of attention to local news, compared to 56 percent in early 2020. That was at the start of a presidential election year. and at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic.

In a picture of how people get their news, 58 percent said the Internet, 31 percent television, 7 percent radio, and 3 percent cited print newspapers or magazines.

For members of Generation Z, ages 18 to 25, 88 percent said they got their news online, the survey found.

In one olive branch, if Americans believe that local news outlets do not have the resources or opportunities to report the news, they are more likely to pay for it.

Results are based on a Gallup survey of 5,593 Americans ages 18 and older conducted between May 31 and July 21, 2022.

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