A recent survey released by the Poynter Institute should give pause to members of the media. A large portion of Americans distrust national press, and a significant group thinks the media has a tendency to fabricate stories.
According to the Poynter Media Trust Survey, while more than 7 out of 10 Americans have at least a fair amount of trust for local news outlets, only 55 percent would say the same for trust in national TV news and 59 percent for national newspapers. Strikingly, among Republicans, while local TV news still gets 71 percent in this measurement, only 28 percent so trust the national networks. Of note, only 47 percent of Americans have at least a fair amount of trust in online-only news outlets.
The study states, “Perceptions of media bias are similarly divergent,” and notes that while 55 percent of Democrats believe members of the media “deal fairly with all sides,” less than 10 percent of Republicans agree. The study notes that among political independents, only 16 percent think the press is unbiased.
Perhaps among its most startling findings, the survey indicates that 42 percent of Americans think the media fabricates news stories “about half the time” or more. That percentage rises to 69 percent among Republicans.
The full study, along with commentary supplied by the Poynter Institute, is available here.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: August 24, 2018