AP POLL: ONLY 6% OF AMERICANS TRUST NEWS MEDIA

JohnLandsberg
April 17th, 2016

The news media has a credibility problem.  A big one.

Once one of the most trusted institutions in history is now one of the most mistrusted.  A new study by the Associated Press reports that just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media. 6 percent!

That puts journalists just about equal to Congress, and well below the public’s view of other institutions. It should not come as a surprise that Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents because of the media’s perceived left-leaning bias.

“But trust today also goes beyond the traditional journalistic principles of accuracy, balance and fairness,” noted the AP.  “The poll shows that accuracy clearly is the most important component of trust.”

Nearly 90 percent of Americans say it’s extremely or very important that the media get their facts correct, according to the study. About 4 in 10 say they can remember a specific incident that eroded their confidence in the media, most often one that dealt with accuracy or a perception that it was one-sided

The news media have been hit by a series of blunders on high-profile stories ranging from the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling on President Barack Obama’s health care law to the Boston Marathon bombing that have helped feed negative perceptions of the media.  Its out-and-out avowed hatred of Donald Trump’s campaign certainly adds fuel to the charges of biased coverage.

Its out-and-out avowed hatred of Donald Trump’s campaign certainly adds fuel to the charges of biased coverage. In fact, Trump uses the public’s hatred of the news media to his advantage (LINK).

In 2014, Rolling Stone had to retract a vivid report about an alleged gang rape at a fraternity party at the University of Virginia. A few years earlier the news media was embarrassed by its coverage about an alleged incident involving members of the Duke University lacrosse team.

According to the AP, readers also are looking for balance: Are there enough sources so they can get a rounded picture of what they are reading? They want transparency, too. “Tell me what you don’t know and tell me how you’re going about reporting the story,” she said.

About 6 in 10 Americans watch, read, or hear news several times a day, as computers, smartphones and tablets make it easier for people to follow the news on an on-demand basis.  A majority of people get news from social media, most frequently by far from Facebook, but only 12 percent of Facebook users have trust in that social media outlet.

Don’t expect the trust level to go back up anytime in the future.  Major newspapers across the country have been letting go veteran journalistic talent in order to stay profitable.  That means less qualified journalists will be asked to do more work, which leads to more errors in coverage.

The poll of 2,014 adults was conducted Feb. 18-March 21 with funding from the American Press Institute. It used a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.
Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods and later interviewed online or by phone.

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One Response

  1. Ernest Evans says:

    MEDIA CAN BLAME THEMSELVES
    Dear Mr. Landsberg: The media has no one to blame but themselves for their lack of credibility with the public. Dan Rather put it best when he said “fear haunts every newsroom in America.” He was talking about the pressure put on journalists to be patriotic in the years after 9/11–and how that fear of the charge of being “unpatriotic” led to journalists not asking the sorts of questions they should have asked about going to war in Iraq. But such pressure comes from the PC liberal-left as well; God help the journalist who tries to cover high-profile cases of police shootings with even a pretense of fairness. When the world of journalism starts producing journalists like Edward R. Murrow again the public will start respecting the media once more. Sincerely, Respectfully and In Christ, Dr. Ernest Evans

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  • Huckabee Responds Expertly to Handler Attack

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    Published December 7, 2017 at 10:16 am - No Comments How would you react if a talk show host called your daughter a “whore” during a TV interview? It is very likely your first (and some might say normal) reaction would be to personally attack the person making those crud ...

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    Published October 30, 2017 at 3:50 pm - No Comments As a long-time public relations practitioner (also known as a PR puke, flack, mouthpiece, media whore, etc.) of more than 25 years, I have seen tremendous changes in the way many journalists do their jobs, and the many challenges ...

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    Published July 1, 2017 at 7:59 am - One Comment Since the presidency of Donald Trump began in January the public has had a unique view in seeing how many, many executives act when their true remarks/feelings/views go public. Unfiltered. It is often not a pretty scene.  It̵ ...

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    Published May 29, 2016 at 8:30 am - 2 Comments It has been called “appalling journalism.” That might be considered a positive comment regarding an editing trick inserted into a documentary on gun ownership that has come to light. Long-time NBC Today Show star and ...

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    Published November 10, 2015 at 10:23 am - 5 Comments In Journalism circles, having a degree from the University of Missouri was often a ticket for success. It is not only the nation’s oldest Journalism school, it is also one of the most prestigious. When rankings for the best ...