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American Trust in News Coverage Falls to All-Time Low

Gallup poll finds that US news consumers are tuning out and losing faith with each passing cycle

Common Dreams staff

Fewer are watching. And those that do tune in are less and less impressed by what they see.

That's the discovery of a new Gallup poll conducted earlier this month and released today in a report that shows Americans' distrust of the corporate press, and specifically political news coverage, hit an all-time high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media.According to Gallup:

The negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap between negative and positive views -- 20 percentage points -- is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s. Trust in the media was much higher, and more positive than negative, in the years prior to 2004 -- as high as 72% when Gallup asked this question three times in the 1970s.

Distrust was also measured by political affiliation, where Gallup found that Republicans are the least trustful of the news, followed by those who consider themselves independents. Democrats exhibit the most confidence in the media, but even their level of trust topped out at less than 60%.

Interestingly, and though the answer would certainly vary across the political spectrum, Gallup did not take the time to ask the poll's respondents why they distrust the mass media in the United States.

Perhaps that's one question you don't need a poll to answer.


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