A new Harris Interactive poll finds that over half of Americans — 54 percent — say they tend not to trust the press, “with only 30 percent tending to trust the press.” More Americans (41 percent) trust “Internet news and information sites” than they do the mainstream media. Radio tends to do best among Americans as 44 percent say they tend to trust it.
The Harris results reflect the findings of a Harvard University study conducted last year, which found “nearly two-thirds of Americans do not trust campaign coverage by the news media.” A few other recent surveys offer some explanation for the public’s distrust:
— Two thirds of Americans — 67% — believe traditional journalism is out of touch with what Americans want from their news.
— The harshest indictments of the press come from the growing segment that relies on the internet as its main source for news. The internet news audience is particularly likely to criticize news organizations for their lack of empathy, their failure to “stand up for America,” and political bias.
— Democrats, Republicans and independents have decreased confidence in the accuracy of media reports on the war.
These days, the slogan “most trusted name in news” doesn’t mean as much as it once did.