Americans’ Trust in News Hits Historic Low, Poll Says

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Americans’ trust in news organizations has hit a historic low, according to Gallup’s annual survey on confidence in major U.S. institutions.

Both newspapers and television news have seen a decline in confidence over the past year, with each losing an average 5% of people who said they had a “great deal” of trust in such institutions.

Television news is now considered the second least-trusted institution in the U.S., after Congress, according to the poll. Just 11% of respondents reported “quite a lot” of trust in television news.

Newspapers are slightly ahead, leapfrogging over big business and the criminal justice system for the spot as the fifth least-trusted institution. It’s the lowest point for newspapers in at least three decades of measurement, Gallup reports.

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The decline is led mostly by Republicans, who have a major distrust for newspapers. Just 5% of Republicans surveyed said that they trusted newspapers, compared to 35% of Democrats. As for Independents, about 12% said that they have confidence in newspapers.

Confidence in television news actually slightly increased among Republicans, inching from 6% to 8% — though it’s still lower in rankings, after newspapers, Congress and the presidency. Both Democrats and Independents trust television news less than they did last year.

Small business and the military remain at the top of the list, with a majority of respondents agreeing that they still have “a great deal” of confidence in such institutions. When broken down across party lines, the percentage is higher among Republicans than Democrats, though the majority is true for both.

On average, Democrats responded more favorably than Republicans to most of the institutions, save for the police, the Supreme Court and organized religion.

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