Americans’ Assessment of the Media ‘the Grimmest in Gallup’s History’

Craig Bannister | October 20, 2023
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Americans’ appraisal of the media is now “the grimmest in Gallup’s history,” the iconic polling company reported Thursday.

For the second straight year – and only the second year in Gallup’s half-century of surveying the subject – the percentage of Americans who have no confidence at all in the media has surpassed the combined percentages of those with either a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust.

In a national survey, conducted September 1-23 of this year, Gallup asked U.S. adults to rate their trust that media are reporting news “fully, accurately and fairly”:

“In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media -- such as newspapers, TV and radio -- when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly -- a great deal, a fair amount, not very much or none at all?”

A record-high 39% said they have no trust at all, while the 32% who said they have either a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media’s news reporting tied its record low, set in 2016.

This year, as in the past, U.S. adult Democrats have the most confidence in the news they’re getting from America’s anti-conservative, demonstrably biased, legacy media – but, even their trust recorded a steep decline from last year’s level.

“Although partisans remain sharply divided in their views of the media, Democrats’ trust fell significantly this year,” Gallup reports, noting that Democrats’ trust in the media has fallen 12 points over the past year, to 58%.

While more than half of Democrats still think they’re getting full, fair and accurate news from today’s mass media, only 11% of Republicans and 29% of Independents agree.

Gallup notes that trust in the media has dropped dramatically from when it began surveying the subject in 1972:

“Gallup first asked this question in 1972 and has tracked it nearly every year since 1997. Trust ranged from 68% to 72% in three readings in the 1970s, and though it had declined by the late 1990s, it remained at the majority level until 2004, when it fell to 44%. After rebounding slightly to 50% in 2005, it has not risen above 47% since.”

Journalists’ lack of scruples appears to be a major factor driving down Americans’ trust in the news they’re being fed.

The 42% of Americans who rated the “honesty and ethical standards” of journalists as being either “very low” (18%) or “low” (24%) tied an all-time low in December, when Gallup last addressed the issue. What’s more, the 18% of Americans who rated journalists’ honesty and ethics to be “very low” was six times that of the mere 3% who said it was “very high.”

Even lawyers ranked higher than journalists, in terms of honesty and ethical standards.