Polls: Trust In The Media Down, But Still Higher Than Government. CNN, FNC Named Top News Sources

By Alex Weprin 

A pair of public opinion polls were released today by Pew and Gallup, and both tell a similar story: the public continues to distrust the media, and believes media organizations to have a partisan leaning to the political right or left.

According to Gallup, 55% of Americans have little or no trust in the media, and according to Pew 77% of outlets “tend to favor one side.” Not surprisingly, conservatives and Republicans believes the media to skew leftward, while Democrats and liberals tended to believe the media tilted rightward, or was fair.

But if the news is bad for the media, it is awful for the government and large corporations. The Pew poll notes that state and federal government, as well as large corporations, are far less trusted by the public than the media outlets.


While the public thinks the media is biased, they continue to tune into TV as their primary source of news. 66% of respondents in the Pew poll say that TV is their primary source of news. When asked “what comes to mind when you think about ‘news organizations?'” the top six responses were all TV news outlets. CNN was first with 43% of respondents, followed by Fox News with 39%. The broadcast news divisions and MSNBC followed.

One important note: the Pew poll has only 39% of Americans having little or no trust in the media. These different numbers are likely the result of the questions being framed differently, or slight differences in methodology.

You can read the results from the Gallup poll here, and the Pew poll here.