- In 1994, 35% of consumers had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in TV news
- In 2020, only 18% feel the same way
- Unsurprisingly, younger Americans are more skeptical than older Americans
Trust in TV News has Dropped Among U.S. Consumers
Americans are increasingly losing their trust in traditional institutions, particularly when it comes to TV news.
In 2020, a whopping 49% of U.S. consumers claim to have very little or no trust in TV news, compared to just 27% in 1994:
|Year||A lot of Trust (%)||Some Trust (%)||Very Little/ No Trust (%)|
Why Is TV News Losing Credibility?
What’s causing this loss of trust? A recent report by Knight Foundation and Gallup surveyed 20,000 U.S. adults to find out. Based on the responses, the survey found that:
Too Much Bias
A majority of Americans see “a great deal” of political bias in news coverage (46%).
A Hidden Agenda
Americans believe news outlets have a hidden agenda, and inaccurate reporting is intentional — 52% believe reporters will misrepresent facts on purpose.
Younger Americans are More Skeptical
43% of Americans aged 65+ have favorable views towards media, while only 20% of Americans under 30 years feel the same way.
Despite these hesitations, a majority of Americans still believe news is a critical part of a democratic society.
On this note, 82% see news as a tool that holds leaders accountable for their actions, and 88% feel the news is an essential way to keep Americans informed about public affairs.
So, it’s clear that the news, in theory, is valued. It’s just not meeting the expectations of Americans in practice.
» Interested in the news media landscape? You may enjoy this full article, Who Owns Your Favorite News Media Outlet?
Where does this data come from?
Source: Gallup Poll, “Confidence in Institutions”
Note: Percentages in the table may not add up to 100% due to rounding, for clarity
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