Distrust of Media at All-Time High

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 21 2012 10:43 AM

The Numbers Say You Probably Won't Believe The Numbers We're About to Show You

A new survey from Gallup suggests that six in ten Americans have little or no trust in the mass media to deliver the news "fully, accurately and fairly," a record number since the polling outfit began tracking the trend.

Josh Voorhees Josh Voorhees

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 

Here was the exact wording of the question: "In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the mass media—such as newspapers, TV, and radio—when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly—a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?"

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Sixty percent answered either "not very much" or "not at all," with the remaining 40 percent opting for either "a great deal" or at least "a fair amount." Just in case (or, we suppose, in the likely event) you don't believe us, here's the handy chart straight from Gallup:

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According to the pollsters, this year's drop in media trust is being fueled largely by self-identified Republicans and independents. Twenty-six percent of Republicans said they trusted the media either greatly or a fair amount, similar to the level of trust the GOP reported back in 2008, another election year. Independents, meanwhile, are much more negative about the media than they were in 2008, something that Gallup says suggests "the group that is most closely divided between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is quite dissatisfied with its ability to get fair and accurate news coverage of this election."

Another Gallup chart:

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