Poll Shows Number of Americans with No Trust in Mass Media Has Hit an All-Time High


The percentage of Americans with zero trust in the mass media has risen to an all-time high, according to a new poll released by Gallup.

A Gallup survey released on Wednesday shows that the majority of Americans have little to no trust that the media will report stories “fully, accurately, and fairly.”

Only 9 percent of Americans surveyed said that had “a great deal” of trust in the media.

Another 31 percent reported having only “a fair amount” of trust in the media’s reporting.

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The majority of respondents — 60 percent — said they had little or no trust in the media to report on the news “fully, accurately, and fairly.”

Twenty-seven percent of those polled said they had “not very much” trust with regard to the media.

Roughly one-third of respondents, or 33 percent, reported having “none at all.”

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“Although Americans’ overall trust in the media has remained steady since last year, the 33% who do not have any confidence this year reflects a five-point uptick and is the highest reading on record,” according to Gallup.

Individuals were more likely to either trust or distrust the news media along ideological or party lines, the Gallup survey revealed.

Seventy-three percent of Democrats said they had either “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in the media, while only 27 percent said they had “not very much” trust or “none at all.”

Republicans and independents appeared to be far more skeptical of the media’s reporting.

Three percent of Republicans said they had “a great deal” of trust in the media, compared to 6 percent of independents.

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Fifty-eight percent of Republicans polled said they had no trust at all in the media, while another 31 percent said they had “not very much.”

Thirty-five percent of independents said they had no trust in the media, while 29 percent reported having “not very much” trust.

“Republicans are the main drivers behind [the uptick in people who reported having zero confidence in the media]: 58% of them now express this view, marking a 10-point increase and the first-ever majority-level reading,” according to Gallup.

Gallup first began polling Americans about trust in the mass media in 1972.

“Trust ranged between 68% and 72% in the 1970s, and though it had declined by the late 1990s, it remained at the majority level until 2004, when it dipped to 44%. After hitting 50% in 2005, it has not risen above 47%,” according to the pollster.

Now, more than three times as many Americans have no trust in the media (33 percent) compared to those who trust it “a great deal” (9 percent).

Gallup surveyed 1,019 adults — a random sample — by telephone in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., between Aug. 31 and Sept. 13.

The survey’s margin of error was +/- 4 percentage points.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.