A new poll by Gallup asks Americans how much they trust the media to report news “fully, accurately, and fairly.” Respondents had the choice between “a lot”, “somewhat”, “not a lot” and “not at all”.
The plurality of respondents rated their level of confidence in the reports as ‘none’. 38% of respondents gave this answer. That’s just 2 percentage points less than Gallup’s all-time high, which took place in the 2016 presidential election.
When split by partisanship, there is a wide gap between members of the two main political parties. 70% of those who identify as Democrats say they have great confidence in the media. Only 14% of those who identify as Republicans give the same answer. It’s no surprise, then, that Republicans are the most likely to say they don’t trust the media at all, with 57% giving this answer.
Gallup points out that the phenomenon of mistrust in the media is far from new. For nearly 20 years, a majority of Americans have said they have a high level of trust in the media. Since 2003, this response has been in the minority.
“Americans’ trust in the media has been anemic for nearly two decades, and Gallup’s latest findings confirm that mistrust,” writes Megan Brenan in her summary for Gallup’s website. “The current level of public confidence in full, fair and accurate news reporting by the media is the second lowest on record. This new confidence reading follows that of Gallup historically low trust in TV news and newspapers in June and a new low in December’s annual honesty and ethics rating for television journalists. Newspaper reporters received similarly low ratings in the same poll.