Speed Reads

mass media

American trust in media drops to 2nd-lowest point on record

American's trust in the media to "report the news fully accurately and fairly" slid four percentage points since last year, pushing this year's reading down to its lowest level since 2016 and its second-lowest point on record, reports Gallup.

Just 36 percent of U.S. adults say they have "a great deal" — 7 percent — or "a fair amount" — 29 percent — of confidence in newspaper, television, and radio news reporting, just 4 points above 2016's record low of 32 percent. 

Following the bottoming out in 2016, trust in the media "rebounded" 13 points in two years, writes Gallup, mostly due to "a surge among Democrats" amid former President Donald Trump's administration and the resulting media scrutiny. But since 2018, that number "has fallen a total of nine points, as trust has slid among all party groups."

Notably, media trust has about halved since the Nixon era, writes Axios per Gallup's polling — between 1972 and 1976, 68 percent to 72 percent of Americans expressed confidence in mass media, as opposed to today's 36 percent.

Gallup surveyed 1,005 adults between Sept. 1-17, 2021. Results have a margin of error of 4 percentage points. See more results at Gallup.