Americans' confidence in the media's ability to "report the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to an all-time low of 40 percent, according to a new Gallup poll.
Americans' trust in the mass media was higher in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but has been generally "edging downward" since former President George W. Bush's re-election season, when trust fell significantly.
The polling firm's analysis shows that trust tends to drop slightly in election years and rebound in following years. "Although the differences between the drops and the recoveries are not large," Gallup reports, "they suggest that something about national elections triggers skepticism about the accuracy of the news media's reporting."
Democrats traditionally express much more trust in the media than Republicans do, but this year marks a 14-year low in the number of Democrats who say they trust the media, with 54 percent reporting thus.
This year's polling also reveals a "sharp uptick in Americans who think news media are 'too conservative,'" with 19 percent reporting this way, the highest such percentage since 2006 and up six points from last year. According to the data, 44 percent of Americans still consider the news media to be "too liberal."