Issues & Insights’ Terry Jones is wondering if Americans will ever trust the media again. That’s a fair question. Excerpt:
The online June I&I/TIPP Poll of 1,310 adults, taken from June 8-10 with a margin of error of +/-2.8 percentage points, asked the following questions, as it has each month since March of 2021:
- “Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the traditional or established news media (Example: Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, CBS News, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?”
- “Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the alternative news media (Example: New York Post, Washington Times, NewsMax, The Daily Caller, RealClearPolitics, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?”
From these two questions, I&I/TIPP has created a monthly Traditional Media Index and an Alternative Media Index. This lets us gauge how the public view the major media over time.
First, look at June’s monthly data: Just 34% of Americans say they trust the “traditional” or established news outlets, while 58% say they have no trust. Diving a bit deeper into those numbers, only 12% describe themselves as having “a lot of trust,” while 22% say they have “quite a bit” of trust.
On the other side, 27% say they have “no trust at all” in the big media. None. And 31% express “little trust.”
Not exactly a big vote of confidence.
This should come as a surprise to no one.
When I was young, the Old Man always urged me, “don’t believe anything you hear just because. Always check for yourself.” That was, of course, before the internet, and I think that’s key to the findings in the poll referenced here; in the Internet Age, it’s a lot easier to do your own fact-checking and find out who is full of shit – and people are finding out that almost everyone in the media is full of shit.
Of course, plenty of people don’t bother to do that fact-checking. Those are likely the 34% who say they trust the legacy media. Plenty of people don’t know how to challenge their own preconceived notions, which was another thing the Old Man always encouraged me to do. That’s one of the reasons I actually read all the leftist tripe that ends up in the “This Week’s Idiots” section in the Wednesday links posts; there’s an element of ‘knowing what the enemy is thinking’ to that, but it’s also a good exercise in stretching your own intellectual capacity.
In the case of the legacy media these days, my practice is “don’t trust, but verify.”