June 19, 2013 | Filed Under ABC, Associated Press, Business, Cable, Capitalism, CBS, CNBC, CNN, Democrats/Leftists, Ethics, Fox Business Network, Fox News, Journalism, Liberals, Media, Media Bias, MSNBC, NBC, Newspapers, NPR, PBS, Progressives, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, TV, TV News, Warner Todd Huston, Washington Post | Comments Off on
Public Trust in Newspapers Falls to New Lows
-By Warner Todd Huston
A new poll on newspapers and television news shows that Americans’ confidence in the news industry continues to erode in this era of mass communications, reaching a low not seen since 2007.
The Gallup polling firm finds that trust in newspapers has fallen to 23 percent. This is down from 25 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2011.
The previous low was recorded in 2007 when trust in newspapers reached 22 percent.
Trust in newspapers has undergone steady erosion since its 1979 high of 51 percent, Gallup reports.
Television news fares no better in the estimation of those polled by Gallup. Trust in TV news tied that of newspapers with 23 percent saying they trust TV news sources. This is down from a 1993 high of 46 percent–when Gallup first began asking about it.
Gallup cautions, however, that the TV question was not separated out between cable and network news with both sources lumped in together in the question.
Naturally, liberals trust the newspapers more than conservatives.
Conservatives’ confidence in newspapers, at 15%, is down from 21% in 2012 and 2011. Moderates’ confidence has been trending downward for the past two years, and is now at 25%. Liberals remain the most confident in newspapers–although not by much–with 31% putting a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in them this year.
Confidence in newspapers by party mirrors the ideological findings. Democrats are most confident, at 33%, while independents are less so, at 19%, and Republicans, at 16%, are least confident.
For conservatives, the findings were similar for TV news with only 18 percent saying they trust TV news. Liberals and moderates however have seen an upswing in trust in TV news. Moderates trust the TV at 24 percent while liberals trust it at 26 percent.
Women trust all news sources more than men and educated people trust the news less than the uneducated, but regardless of class, education or party affiliation, trust in the news is below 31 percent in every case showing that the media is not well liked by most Americans.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.
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