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Gallup study: Media rank dead last in public trust

Finding is part of a decades-long decline in popular trust in the media, Gallup's editor-in-chief Mohamed Younis said Tuesday.

Updated: June 24, 2020 - 8:57am

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    Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst
    Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst
    (Source: Gallup)

In a Gallup public opinion survey released near the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown, eight of the nine institutions studied received majority positive ratings — led by U.S. hospitals, at 88% approval.

The media ranked dead last in the study of Americans' trust in institutions. Only the media got a more negative than positive review. The finding is part of a decades-long decline in popular trust in the media, Gallup's editor-in-chief Mohamed Younis said Tuesday during a virtual panel organized by the U.S. Council on Competitiveness.

Since 2015, Gallup has tracked an increase in divergence between Republicans and Democrats on their attitudes toward the national media, Younis explained.

The current partisan split is "not surprising," given the contentious relationship President Trump, a Republican, has with the current media, Younis said. Still, the deterioration of trust among Republicans has been persisting for decades.

"Just to give you context, when we were polling in the time of President Nixon's impeachment, seven in 10 Americans said they had confidence in the honesty of the media they had access to in the United States," Younis said. "Today, only four in 10 Americans say the same. So there's been a general decline. That decline is most pronounced among Republicans, like I said in the past five years or so. But as of now, 41% of independents approve of the job that media has done in the Covid crisis, which is exactly the national average; 68% of Democrats share that view, and only 16% of Republicans ... So there is definitely a partisan angle to that."

Image
Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst
Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst
(Source: Gallup)

 


Younis said Gallup was currently running a an online sociology experiment to understand people's news consumption and what is driving the partisan divide.

"Overall, what we found is that people again, similarly to government, want to trust and want access to local news sources and see them dwindling away across the United States," Younis said. "So what I'm saying is, on a national level, what we find is that people trust local news more than the national news offerings."

To watch the full online panel discussion, click the video below:

 

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