Americans’ confidence in television news has plunged to an all-time low, according to a new survey by Gallup.
Of the 1,004 adults surveyed, just 21% had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in television news, compared to 27% last year and 46% when Gallup began tracking confidence in 1993.
Confidence in newspapers didn’t fare much better, dropping to 25% from 28% last year, which is less than half of the 51% peak in 1979.
Gallup tested 16 U.S. institutions, with newspapers ranked tenth and television news eleventh, which is unchanged from last year. That compares to the military, which ranks first, and Congress thirteenth in confidence among those surveyed.
Confidence among liberals and moderates in television news plunged this year by eleven and ten points respectively, putting their numbers below those of conservatives for the first time in several years, possibly owing to both the continued dominance of Fox News and the troubles that CNN has faced in the last year.
That decline wasn’t matched along party lines, as 34% of Democrats expressed confidence in television news, down only two percent from last year, while confidence among Republicans and Independents dropped to 17% from 25% and 23% respectively last year.
The drop in confidence by Republicans and Independents is likely due to the strong pro-Obama bias of the media that has become more evident as we move closer to the election in November.
Americans have clearly soured on both television news, with viewership down, particularly at CNN, and newspapers, which are continuing to stumble financially. The chances are that the downward trend in confidence for both mediums will continue for the foreseeable future and may yet rival those of Congress in the next few years.