According to a new Gallup poll, just four out of every ten Americans trusts the media to do its job properly.
Just 40 percent of Americans asked in the new poll say they have a great deal of confidence newspapers, radio and TV report the news fully, accurately and fairly. The number is unchanged from 2014 and down from a high mark of 55 percent in 1999.
The biggest drop in confidence has come from those under 50, who sharply differed from the opinions of those 50 or older starting in 2012. In 2015, 36 percent of those 18 to 49 said they have a great deal of trust in the media compared to 45 percent of those 50 or older.
Americans’ trust level in the media has drifted downward over the past decade. The same forces behind the drop in trust in government more generally, as well confidence in many U.S. institutions, may also be at work with the media. But some of the loss in trust may have been self-inflicted. Major venerable news organizations have been caught making serious mistakes in the past several years, including the scandal involving former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams in 2015 that some of his firsthand accounts of news events had been exaggerated or “misremembered.”
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