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Americans’ Trust In News Media Falls To New Lows

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The results of a recent survey indicate that Americans’ trust in the media is dwindling, with as little as 34% saying they hold a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in it. This leaves an overwhelming proportion, 38%, expressing they have absolutely no trust at all. Even more strikingly, this is the first instance of those entirely lacking trust outnumbering those with at least some faith in the media’s performance.

These unsurprising figures were unearthed by a Gallup poll conducted in the first half of September. The poll did not just reveal an alarming lack of trust in the mass media, but also in the tripartite branches of the US Government.

One person’s media nemesis is another’s trusted source as the erosion in confidence clearly demarcates along party lines. With a substantial 70% of Democrats, a mere 14% of Republicans and 27% of independents saying they have considerable or fair confidence in the media, the chasm is widening.

An analysis of the polling data points to some intriguing variations: amongst Republicans, this year recorded the third year straight where a majority expressed having zero trust in the media. A notable admission was recorded amongst independents – only 27% exhibited confidence, the lowest ever recorded, and the first time the figure has plunged beneath 30%. For Democrats, while the confidence threshold never slipped below the majority grade, the great degree of trust has not surpassed 26%.

When the data is graphed against age and political leaning, it reveals that older Democrats and independents are more likely to trust the media than their younger counterparts. Education also plays a defining role with independent voters with a college degree more likely to trust the media than those without, although education exhibited no impact amongst Democrats and Republicans in this context.

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