Originally published: October 6, 2010
Last updated: October 6, 2010 - 8:10pm
According to Gallup's annual Governance poll, conducted Sept. 13-16, 2010, 57% of Americans say they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly, for the fourth straight year... a record high by one percentage point.
The 43% of Americans who express a great deal or fair amount of trust ties the record low, and is far worse than three prior Gallup readings on this measure from the 1970s. Trust in the media is now slightly higher than the record-low trust in the legislative branch but lower than trust in the executive and judicial branches of government, even though trust in all three branches is down sharply this year. These findings also further confirm a separate Gallup poll that found little confidence in newspapers and television specifically. Nearly half of Americans (48%) say the media are too liberal, tying the high end of the narrow 44% to 48% range recorded over the past decade. One-third say the media are just about right while 15% say they are too conservative. Overall, perceptions of bias have remained quite steady over this tumultuous period of change for the media, marked by the growth of cable and Internet news sources. Americans' views now are in fact identical to those in 2004, despite the many changes in the industry since then.
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