Fewer Than One Third of Americans Trusts the Media to Report the Truth


By Cassandra Fairbanks

Americans have the lowest trust in the media in the world, according to a new survey.

Fewer than one in three Americans trust the media, according to a study from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford, which interviewed 29,000 people in 46 countries.

Additionally, amongst American conservatives, only one-fifth saying that the media reflects their views correctly.

The majority of Americans whose political views lean left, 51 percent, believe that the media reflects their views correctly, while 34 percent disagreed. “Fewer than one-third of centrists and one-fifth of conservatives agree. Self-identified conservatives have a 59 percentage point gap: 16% say the media portray conservatives accurately, while 75% disagree,” the Daily Wire reports.

The Daily Wire also pointed out that the Associated Press blamed its readers for the low trust in media, saying the trouble is “not all Americans universally embrace core journalism values.”

“Despite more options to read and watch partisan news, the majority of our respondents (74%) say they still prefer news that reflects a range of views and lets them decide what to think. Most also think that news outlets should try to be neutral on every issue (66%), though some younger groups think that ‘impartiality’ may not be appropriate or desirable in some cases, for example, on social justice issues,” the Reuters report found.

“In some countries, lower interest may be as much to do with changed politics as the Coronavirus crisis itself. Interest in the news in the United States has declined by 11 percentage points in the last year to just 55%. To some extent this is not surprising as our poll was conducted after the turbulent events on Capitol Hill in January and the departure of Donald Trump. But our data show signs that many former Trump supporters may be switching away from news altogether. Almost all of this fall in interest came from those on the political right,” the report added.

The survey found that while trust in media went up overall globally, “the United States is clearly an exception following deep divisions over a ‘stolen election’ and the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd. The US is one of the few countries not to have seen an increase in trust this year.”

“In the United States there are more people who distrust the news than trust it, leaving a deficit of 15 points. But in Scandinavian countries, like Denmark, a very small proportion say they distrust the news, leaving a large net positive score of 48 points,” they wrote.

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9 responses to “Fewer Than One Third of Americans Trusts the Media to Report the Truth”

  1. Russ says:

    “core journalism values.” What is that, outright lying or use of extremely deceptive framing devices? Far to often so and about only so on television.

  2. Irris30 says:

    The civil war firefight in Syria that ABC reported a few years ago that turned out to be a gun show in TN I believe…my husband’s boss was there. He called my husband to joke around that according to ABC he was in Syria. They knew they were filming a gun demo and they called it a battle and ran it on the air. Not to mention the channels caught saying Italian hospitals were in the US….People are lazy and the media has been able to do what they want for so long…but not everyone has their eyes closed.

  3. This is a good sign. Timcast to the moon!

  4. Vercuric says:

    From the study:

    “…we are hugely grateful to our sponsors:
    the Google News Initiative, BBC News…”

    The biggest threat to online free speech and a state-funded racist leftist propaganda outlet funded this study. I am inclined to believe that even these results were cherry picked to favor mainstream media. Who the hell are those 1 in 5 American conservatives that believe the mainstream media reflects their beliefs accurately? A plurality actually trust Washington Compost when their “””journalists””” just make shit up (Hannah Dreier lying about DeSantis stalling FEMA for 24 hours)?

    No, as poorly as this study reflects on the trust in the mainstream media, I’m certain the true results are even worse for them. They state that this is an online study, which automatically means it’s biased towards younger age groups. The participants are manually selected which means they are not anonymous (at least to the survey conductors), which will affect honesty in their responses (see Five Nights at Freddy’s developer Scott Cawthon being cancelled just for donating to Republicans).

    Also “…following deep divisions over a ‘stolen election’ and the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd…”, what? American trust in media has been declining steadily for years. Americans trusting Congress more than the media for the first time was big news long before Floyd. This study reeks of cope and propaganda. The American mainstream media (and most of the world’s, to be fair) is pure trash and only the dumbest of the NPC cattle would still trust them to ever tell the truth.

    …actually the thought that there really are that many braindead sheep out there worries me.

  5. blomonaco21 says:

    Doesn’t really surprise me considering how the last decade has gone in politics and culture.

  6. Crusader2001 says:

    Yeah, watching Timcast the most now-a-days. Don’t bother with MSM and right-wing media like Blaze

  7. DocLockJ says:

    Although I don’t believe 29000 accurately represents the possible 2-3 billion consumers from the 46 countries I think this may be close to reality. Would like to see a larger survey audience but the methodology looks pretty detailed and accurate.

  8. A.J. says:

    One in three? That many huh?

  9. UppityG says:

    Thank goodness for new media (like Fairbanks and Timcast) or I’d ignore media entirely out of self-defense. I don’t know that I’ll ever trust the corporate legacy media ever again, it just feels too dangerous to do so.