As part of its annual survey of confidence in US institutions, Gallup reports the Americans’ confidence in TV news hit a new low this year. Just 21% of Americans say they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in TV news reporting. This is the lowest number since Gallup began tracking confidence scores in 1993.
Interestingly, the survey was completed before the US Supreme Court announced its ruling on the health care reform act, which both Fox News and CNN initially reported incorrectly.
Newspapers fared little better. In a ranking of 16 institutions, TV news finished 11th and newspapers finished 10th. Only 25% of Americans expressed ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in newspapers. At its peak in 1977, confidence in newspapers rested comfortably at 51%.
The Gallup report breaks down the confidence readings into several different sub-groups. Perhaps most interesting is the loss of confidence by self-identified political liberals and moderates in TV news. Just 20% of moderates and 19% of liberals have confidence in TV news, compared with 30% of each in 2011. Conservatives’ confidence fell by 1 point, to 22%.
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.
The Gallup results are available here.