Confidence in television news among U.S. viewers has sunk to an all-time low, according to a new survey by Gallup. Politico.com reports that only 21% of the adults surveyed indicated they have “a great deal” or “a lot” of confidence in the TV news media, down from 46% in 1993 and continuing what has been a steady decline in the number since that time.
The number was down from 27% a year ago, when it had an uncharacteristic rise from the previous all-time low of 22% in 2010.
“Meanwhile, just 25% of those polled expressed confidence in newspapers, the second-lowest rating since 1973 and less than half of the 51% peak in 1979,” the report notes. “Of 16 U.S. institutions tested — including the police, the church, the Supreme Court, banks, and big business — newspapers ranked tenth, television news eleventh. (The military is the most trusted institution, with a 75% confidence rating; Congress is the least trusted institution, with a 13% confidence rating).”
The authors of the Gallup study reported: "It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last. Americans’ negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general."
The Politico report adds: “Confidence in television news also declined across the ideological spectrum, though the decline in confidence among liberals and moderates was far more severe, putting their outlook below that of conservatives for the first time since 2007. Nineteen percent of liberals expressed confidence in television media, versus 20 percent of moderates and 22 percent of conservatives.”