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Distrust of media hits record high

Published time: September 21, 2012 18:04
Edited time: September 21, 2012 22:05
AFP Photo/Greg Wood

AFP Photo/Greg Wood

There’s something you should hear, but we’re willing to bet you might not believe it. The results of a new Gallup poll reveal that Americans’ distrust with the media is more severe than ever.

Gallup released findings from one of their newest studies on Friday, and through their research the polling group has determined that more than half of Americans have little to no trust in the mainstream media. According to the group’s findings, 60 percent of Americans polled say they have “little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately and fairly.”

Pollsters with Gallup have asked Americans about their take on the mass media routinely since the 1990s, but analyzing the answers they’ve received in the two decades or so since reveals that distrust is indeed at a record high.

Back in 1997 when Gallup first began regularly asking around, only 46 percent of the people polled said they had very little-to no trust in the media, compared to 53 percent who favored it either a great deal or a fair amount. Today, 40 percent say they trust their sources that much, compared to 44 percent just one year earlier.

The results of the Gallup study come close to mirroring statistic from a similar poll conducted recently by Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos and the SEIU. When they asked around one month ago if Americans had a "favorable or unfavorable" view of the political media, 78 percent of those polled said they were more than weary of political journalists.

That isn’t to say that Americans had a negative outlook on their news sources before that though, either. Gallup adds that they polled people for their take three different times during the 1970s, but back then as many as 72 percent responded favorably about the American media.

“Media sources must clearly do more to earn the trust of Americans, the majority of whom see the media as biased one way or the other. At the same time, there is an opportunity for others outside the ‘mass media’ to serve as information sources that Americans do trust,” Gallup reports.

Gallup conducted their latest survey between September 6 and 9, and sampled 1,017 random adults from the United States. There is a plus-or-minus margin of error of 4 percent.

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