By RICHIE MALOUF
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Americans’ confidence in news media has plummeted to record lows.
According to the latest Gallup poll released Monday, only 16% of surveyed U.S. adults say that they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers, while 11% say the same about television news. These numbers are down five percentage points since last year.
“The latest readings are from a June 1-20 poll that saw declines in confidence ratings for 11 of the 16 institutions measured and no improvements for any,” Gallup said. “Television news and newspapers rank nearly at the bottom of that list of institutions, with only Congress garnering less confidence from the public than TV news.”
Confidence in both newspapers and television news differs on political lines, with Democrats having more confidence than their Republican counterparts.
Only 5% of Republicans and 12% of independents report having “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers, the lowest ever for both parties, compared to 35% of Democrats.
These reports are below the trend averages for Republicans (24%), independents (28%), and Democrats (38%).
The only time a majority of Americans have ever reported having confidence in newspapers was in 1979, with 51% saying that they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence, and have since decreased, with the trend average now sitting at 30%.
As for television news, the difference narrows slightly, with only 8% of Republicans and Independents saying that they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence compared to 20% of Democrats, a historic low.
The current views, like those toward newspapers, also sit below the trend averages for Republicans (22%), independents (25%), and Democrats (35%).
Confidence in television news was at its highest in 1993, with 46% of Americans saying they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in it. Since then, confidence has decreased, with the trend average now sitting at 27%.