That the mainstream media is suffering from a credibility crisis is not news. The issues people have in trusting supposedly objective news outlets to deliver straight-news reporting free from political biases go back at least three decades.
But a new major poll from Gallup and the Knight Foundation gives a more in-depth look at just how bad people believe media bias is and who those polled believe is most responsible for the political division in this country. Hint: it’s not politicians:
The poll noted an increase in the percentage of Americans who see too much bias in ostensibly objective reporting as a “major problem.” According to the poll, 73 percent of Americans share that belief, up from 65 percent in 2017.
Meanwhile, a stunning 84 percent of Americans agree that “the media is to blame for political division in this country,” though the same percentage also believe the media “can serve as a healing force.”
In perhaps the most stunning findings, almost 80 percent of Americans say news organizations they don’t trust are “trying to persuade people to adopt a certain viewpoint” while just 12 percent say media outlets are trying to report “accurately and fairly but are unable to do so.” Nearly three-quarters of those polled (74 percent) are worried that the owners of media companies are “influencing coverage.”
More than half of Americans polled (54 percent) say they believe reporters are “misrepresenting the facts” and another 28 percent believe reporters are “making [facts] up entirely.” More than three-quarters (78 percent) of Americans believe “misinformation” that is shared on social media is “the leading problem with news today.”
NEW: As the country grows more polarized, Americans are losing faith in an objective media. A new @Gallup/Knight poll of 20K Americans explores why. Knight’s @iohnsands shares more: https://t.co/PWU62sSTw1 (THREAD 1/7) #trustinnews— Knight Foundation (@knightfdn) August 4, 2020
These short-term strategies of figures like Jeff Zucker are killing the profession with a return to yellow journalism. News is becoming a form of entertainment masquerading as journalism. The problem is that fewer and fewer Americans seem to be buying it. https://t.co/fu51uw0Bo5— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) August 5, 2020
The consequences of fake news: Americans almost unanimously now recognize the bias in media.— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) August 5, 2020
86% cite a “great deal” or “fair amount” of media bias in a new Gallup/Knight poll... https://t.co/VIonLqIDSY
View the full poll results below.