Poll: Only 19% of Americans Implicitly Trust Media

We've seen it reflected in nearly every poll over the last 10 years or so and here is another one that confirms the downward spiral in trust of the media. In a press release for a Sacred Heart University poll, those respondents who said they believe all or most of what the media has to tell them fell 8% since 2003. In 2003 27.4% of the poll's respondents said that they trusted all or most of what the MSM reports. In 2007 that number plummeted to just 19.6%. 23.9% said they believe little or nothing that comes out of the MSM with 55.3% saying they believe some of what the media churns out.

Ouch.

Things are are increasingly looking bad for the MSM.

"The fact that an astonishing percentage of Americans see biases and partisanship in their mainstream news sources suggests an active and critical consumer of information in the U.S.," stated James Castonguay, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of SHU's Department of Media Studies & Digital Culture. "The availability of alternative viewpoints and news sources through the Internet no doubt contributes to the increased skepticism about the objectivity of profit-driven news outlets owned by large conglomerates," he continued.

Americans are increasingly assuming that the "news" isn't being "reported" but that what they are being fed is meant to influence public opinion as opposed to serving to inform it. In 2003 this poll showed that 79.3% felt the MSM was attempting to promulgate a particular point of view and in the 2007 poll that climbed to 87.6%. The poll also shows that "86.0% agreed (strongly or somewhat) that the news media attempts to influence public policies -- up from 76.7% in 2003."

The MSM faired poorly in many areas.

Americans surveyed provided poor ratings for the national news media on six different characteristics measured. The average overall positive rating across all six characteristics measured was 33.4%. The highest positive rating, 40.7%, was recorded for quality of reporting followed by accuracy of reporting at 36.9% and keeping any personal bias out of stories (33.3%).

Other low positive ratings included: fairness (31.3%), presenting an even balance of views (30.4%) and presenting negative and positive news equally (27.5%).

The Poll found many more interesting results. Many of our supposedly most trusted news sources are considered left leaning and not balanced.

  • 41.9% felt the The New York Times was left leaning
  • 40.3% felt that NPR was left leaning
  • 11.9% felt CNN was left leaning
  • 38.8% felt MSNBC had a leftward tilt
  • 45.4% felt that journalists and broadcasters in general were lefties, too

As to Fox News, 48.7% felt it was right leaning, but the cable newser got the highest vote for accuracy in reporting. Fox News got 27% of the poll for accuracy, while CNN received 14.6%, NBC got 10.9%, ABC 7%, local news 6.9%, CBS News 6.8%, MSNBC 4%, PBS News 3%, and CNBC .6%.

In any case, this report is terrible news for the "news" and it pans out in their falling stock shares and in customer dissatisfaction.

(H/T NewsBuster StewartIII)