Accuracy in Media

According to a study by the Media Insight Project, just six percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, while 41 percent have no confidence at all. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they have some confidence in the people running the news biz.

Eight-five percent said it was extremely or very important that the press is accurate and get the facts right, with two percent saying that accuracy isn’t important.

Underscoring the shift from the old traditional print media to online or social media, the study found that just 20 percent of respondents have a paid newspaper subscription, and only slightly more—24 percent—have a paid magazine subscription. Eighty-seven percent said they get their news most frequently from social media juggernaut Facebook, which doesn’t have any standards whatsoever when it comes to news posted on its site.

Sixty-nine percent of the respondents said that they trust the news less because they found stories that were one-sided or biased, while 65 percent said they lost trust in the news because of incorrect facts.

Longtime news observers shouldn’t be surprised by these findings, as the rapid shift of news to a 24/7 cycle in the last few years has increased the pressure to churn out news, leaving far less time for fact-checking for those that were doing it at all.

This should be a wake-up call to the media that they need to do a better job if they want to remain in business for the long haul. But most of the liberal media tend to be in denial that readers will completely abandon them, despite watching their share of the market shrink dramatically over the last few years.

The poll of 2,014 adults was conducted February 18 to March 21 by the Media Insight Project, a partnership of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute.

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