Gallup Poll: Americans' Faith in Newspapers Continues to Drop

Monday, 17 Jun 2013 04:36 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Americans are continuing to lose faith in newspapers, ranking them near the bottom of a list of society's major institutions they trust, according to a recent Gallup poll.

In 1979, most people still trusted newspapers, with 51 percent saying they had confidence in them to do a good job. In the current survey, taken from June 1-4, Gallup found that only 23 percent of those surveyed still had confidence in newspapers. This compares to 25 percent in 2012 and 28 percent in 2011.

Television news doesn't fare any better. Twenty-three percent expressed faith in TV news, up from 21 percent last year.

The media providers are near the bottom of a list of 16 of "society's institutions," ranked according to how Americans views them.

The only institutions to rank lower were big business, organized labor, health maintenance organizations (HMOs), and Congress, the survey said.

Faith in TV news was at its highest in 1993 at 46 percent in 19, before the advent of the Internet and social media.

Much of the confidence in media can be measured among party lines, reports Gallup. Only 15 percent of conservatives have faith in newspapers, down from 21 percent in 2012 and 2011. In addition, conservatives' confidence in television news is at 18 percent, down from 22 percent last year.

Conservatives seem to be more critical of mass media in general, not just television or newspapers, according to a different Gallup survey.

Most Americans in all key groups are losing faith in traditional news organizations. Young adults have the most confidence in newspapers, but the more educated the younger readers are, the less faith they have.

Women also have a bit more confidence than men when it comes to TV news and newspapers, surveys show.

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