Gee, I wonder why. Another recent Gallup report, this time on consumer trust in media, is “sobering,” the Associated Press reported Tuesday. The new survey shows that attitudes about bias and lack of credibility are hardening among the people the media serve … at least ostensibly. “That’s a bad thing for democracy,” says Gallup’s partner at the Knight Foundation, John Sands, but perhaps that concern should be directed at the media outlets and practices creating the credibility problem in the first place:
Who is to blame for the nation’s political divide? Well, 48% of those questioned says the media bears a great deal of the responsibility.
The study found 73% of Americans feel that too much bias in news reports is a major problem, up from 65% two years ago.
Those surveyed also didn’t believe much in honest mistakes. When there were inaccuracies in articles, 54% of Americans said they believed reporters misrepresented facts, while 28% said reporters were making things up in their entirety.
The picture isn’t much prettier when you take a step back. Knight and Gallup said 41% of Americans have a great deal of confidence in the ability of the media to report the news fairly, down from 55% in a similar survey in 1999.
Interestingly, the Gallup survey took place months ago — between November 2019 and February of this year. It missed all of the COVID-19 coverage, which itself has stoked lots of complaints over bias. It’s very likely that this “sobering” look at media credibility is already outdated. For instance, it doesn’t take into account the Cuomo Brothers Mutual Admiration Society Series at CNN, which has gone on for a full season despite Andrew Cuomo’s mishandling of nursing homes, leading to thousands of potentially avoidable fatal outcomes.