Trust in the News

It seems, in the United States at least, journalists and news organizations have a way to go to earn public trust. The Pew Research Center just published its biennial study on attitudes toward the media.

Based on a survey of 1,480 adults, Americans do not trust their news organizations to get it right. Two thirds of those surveyed thought news reports often got it wrong. And three quarters believe that news organizations favour one side, and are influenced by powerful people and organizations.

On the other hand, more people now believe the media have an important watchdog role. And respondents still see some value in journalists. The report says:

In the current news environment, a slim majority says that journalists are more important than in the past because they help make sense of all the information that is available (54%), while 38% say that journalists are less important than in the past because people can get information without their help.”

The study also asked people how they got their news: while television remains in first place, for the first time, half said they got news from the internet.