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Confidence in TV News Hits an All-Time Low

Only 19% of liberals now trust television news

Common Dreams staff

Americans' confidence in television news has hit an all-time low, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Gallup.

Only twenty-one percent of the 1,004 adults polled said they had "a great deal" or "a lot" of confidence in television news media, continuing a steady decline from the 46 percent who expressed confidence in television media in 1993.

Meanwhile, just 25 percent (down from 28% last year) of those polled expressed confidence in newspapers -- the second-lowest rating since 1973 and less than half of the 51-percent peak in 1979.

"It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last," when confidence was at 27 percent, Gallup wrote. "Americans' negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general."

Confidence in television news also declined across the ideological spectrum, though the decline in confidence among liberals and moderates was far more severe, putting their outlook below that of conservatives for the first time since 2007. Nineteen percent of liberals expressed confidence in television media, versus 20 percent of moderates and 22 percent of conservatives.

Liberals and moderates lost so much confidence in television news this year -- 11 and 10 points, respectively -- that their views are now more akin to conservatives' views. This marks a turnaround from the pattern seen since 2009, in which liberals expressed more confidence than conservatives. Conservatives' views of television news were last similar to liberals' in June 2008, before the last presidential election. However, moderates are significantly less confident now than they were then, 20% vs. 28%.

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