September 24, 2012
“Not very much” or “not at all” are how 60 percent of Americans describe their trust in the mass media, a new Gallup survey finds. As Poynter.org reports, mistrust in media is the highest it’s been since Gallup started asking the question regularly in the 1990s. Republicans and independents are pushing the number higher, the site says. Conversely, nearly 60 percent of Democrats surveyed said they trust the media a “great deal” or a “fair amount.”
Because they’re more likely than Democrats to pay close attention to news about national politics, Republicans are reportedly among the top consumers of the very news sources they distrust, Poynter reports. Republicans and Democrats also appear to use the news differently. A recent Pew study found that Obama’s news was mostly self-generated, while Romney’s site relied heavily on news from mainstream media sources. In an August poll, 78 percent of Americans viewed political media unfavorably.
According to Gallup, the higher level of public mistrust in mass media is “particularly consequential at a time when Americans need to rely on the media to learn about the platforms and perspectives of the two candidates vying to lead the country for the next four years.” — Greg Beaubien