Last updated: June 27, 2011 - 8:37am
Americans' confidence in newspapers and television news rebounded slightly in the past year, having been stuck at record lows since 2007. The 28% of Americans who express a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in newspapers and the 27% who say the same about television news still lag significantly behind the levels of trust seen through much of the 1990s and into 2003.
The findings are from Gallup's annual update on confidence in institutions, which found few other notable changes from last year. Newspapers and television news rank 10th and 11th in confidence, respectively, among the 16 institutions tested. While the improvement for each is small in absolute terms, it could mark the beginning of the reversal of the trend seen in recent years. The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism's annual report on The State of the News Media suggests that the state of the media improved in 2010 as content providers found new ways to meet the changing needs of their audiences as well as new revenue models.
Confidence in newspapers and television news increased across most key subgroups, with the biggest across-the-board improvements among 30- to 49-year-olds and men. The views of Americans aged 18 to 29 exhibited the most mixed year-to-year change, with this group showing a 10-point increase in confidence in television news but a 10-point decrease in confidence in newspapers. While members of this group remain among the most confident in each, their views are now on par with those of Democrats and liberals. Republicans also showed inconsistent movement in their opinions, registering a nine-point increase in their confidence in television news and essentially no change in their views of newspapers. Interestingly, considering the highly polarized nature of cable news, all ideological groups increased their trust in television news to about the same degree.
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