Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Edges Down to 41%

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Americans remain largely mistrustful of the mass media as 41% currently have “a great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in newspapers, television and radio to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly.” This latest reading represents a four-percentage-point dip since last year and marks the end of improvements in back-to-back years after hitting an all-time low.

Although trust in the media has edged down this year, it is well above the record low of 32% in 2016 when Republicans’ trust dropped precipitously and drove the overall trust reading down during the divisive presidential campaign. Republicans’ trust is still at a very low level and a wide gap in views of the media among partisans persists as 69% of Democrats say they have trust and confidence in it, while 15% of Republicans and 36% of independents agree.

Trust in the Mass Media Remains Low

After hitting the low point three years ago, U.S. adults’ trust in the accuracy of the mass media appeared to be rebounding — increasing 13 points over two years. Yet, the latest reading from a Sept. 3-15 Gallup poll found levels matching those in 2017.