Americans’ Confidence in the News Media Is at a Record Low

Jun 20, 2014  •  Post A Comment

Americans’ confidence in major news media sources, including television news and newspapers, is at or tied with record lows, according to a new poll from Gallup.

“This continues a decades-long decline in the share of Americans saying they have ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in newspapers or TV news, while trust in Internet news remains low since the one prior measure in 1999,” Gallup wrote in a blog post.

Confidence in TV news has declined from a high of 46% in 1993 to 18% today, while confidence in newspapers has slipped from a peak of 51% in 1979 to 22% today. Meanwhile, Internet news is at 22%, which is similar to where it stood in 1999, which Gallup says was its only previous measure of news published on the Web.

Gallup notes: “While liberals are more likely to have confidence in newspapers than conservatives, conservatives are slightly more likely to express confidence in TV news (19%) than liberals (15%). For liberals, this 2014 reading represents an 11-percentage-point decline from 2013.”

Much of the media landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades, with University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for the Digital Future estimating that most print newspapers won’t exist in five years, Gallup noted.

“Amid this rapid change, Americans hold all news media platforms in low confidence. How these platforms can restore confidence with the American public is not clear, especially as editorial standards change and most outlets lack the broad reach once available to major newspapers and broadcasters,” Gallup wrote.

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