Americans are waking up to the scam of the infotainment industry in this 21st century, and a new poll reveals just how little confidence our nation has in the media.
The entire industry has turned tawdry in the modern era, openly exploiting our emotions in order to keep us glued to the screen through advertisements. They want to rile us up, as conflict breeds ratings and revenue.
But Americans have long held a rather sizeable distrust of authority, stemming from our nation’s very inception, and our respect and confidence in the media is waning rapidly.
Americans’ confidence in two facets of the news media — newspapers and television news — has fallen to all-time low points. Just 16% of U.S. adults now say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers and 11% in television news. Both readings are down five percentage points since last year.
Gallup has tracked Americans’ confidence in newspapers since 1973 and television news since 1993 as part of its annual polling about major U.S. institutions. The latest readings are from a June 1-20 poll that saw declines in confidence ratings for 11 of the 16 institutions measured and no improvements for any.
There was one institution less-liked than the media, and it probably won’t take two guesses for the average American to identify it.
Television news and newspapers rank nearly at the bottom of that list of institutions, with only Congress garnering less confidence from the public than TV news. While these two news institutions have never earned high confidence ratings, they have fallen in the rankings in recent years.
Unsurprisingly, television news had the lowest confidence rating within the media sphere at only 11%.