New study shows that Americans trust in US news organisations is on the decline

The study says only about 26 percent of Americans have a ‘favorable opinion of US news media’ – the lowest in five years.


Lack of trust in American media, according to Gallup
Image: Alex Edelman

According to a recent survey, fifty percent of Americans feel that national news organizations seek to mislead, misinform, or convince the audience to embrace a specific viewpoint through their reporting.

The survey, which was released by Gallup and the Knight Foundation on Wednesday, surpasses previous that have demonstrated a low level of trust in the media to the alarming extent that many believe there is an intention to deceive.

Fifty percent of respondents disagreed with the statement that national news organizations do not intend to mislead. The study indicated that just 25% agreed.

Similarly, 52% of respondents disagreed that national news disseminators “care about the best interests of their readers, viewers, and listeners.” It stated that 23% of respondents believed journalists acted in the best interests of the people.

Sarah Fioroni, a Gallup consultant, remarked, “That was rather surprising to us.” She stated that the findings revealed a level of mistrust and animosity that goes beyond the foundations of journalism.

The study found that journalists must go beyond emphasizing transparency and truth to demonstrate the impact of their reporting on the public.

John Sands, Knight’s senior director for media and democracy, remarked, “Americans don’t appear to believe that national news organizations care about the broader impact of their reporting on society.”

In both cases, though, Americans showed greater confidence in local news.

The capacity of a large number of individuals to obtain news instantaneously from a handheld devices, the rapid pace of the news cycle, and the rise in the quantity of news sources suggest that more Americans are informed than ever before.

Instead, it appears that information overload has had the opposite impact. 61% of respondents believe that these characteristics make it difficult to remain informed, while 37 percent believe it is easier.

According to the most current study by Knight and Gallup, Democrats are more likely to believe the news than Republicans. During the previous five years, distrust has increased significantly among independents. 55% of respondents believed there was a substantial amount of political bias in coverage, compared to 45% in 2017.

In a conclusion that reflects the financial challenges of certain news organizations and the dropping ratings of television news networks, the study showed that 32% of Americans pay a great deal of attention to local news, down from 56% in early 2020. That was at the beginning of a presidential election year and the start of COVID-19.

58% of people who were asked where they acquire their news said online. 31% said television, 7% said radio, and 3% stated printed newspapers or magazines.

The survey indicated that 88 percent of Gen Z – between the ages of 18 and 25 obtain their news online.

If Americans believed that news organizations lacked the resources to cover news they would willing to pay for it.

The results are based on a May 31 to July 21, 2022 survey of 5,593 Americans aged at least 18

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