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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High

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Author Topic: U.S. Distrust in Media Hits New High
JWatts
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Not really surprising. Most of the Media no longer even attempt to practice any kind of impartiality. I'm not really sure if this necessarily good or bad, just different.

quote:

Americans' distrust in the media hit a new high this year, with 60% saying they have little or no trust in the mass media to report the news fully, accurately, and fairly. Distrust is up from the past few years, when Americans were already more negative about the media than they had been in years prior to 2004.

The record distrust in the media, based on a survey conducted Sept. 6-9, 2012, also means that negativity toward the media is at an all-time high for a presidential election year. This reflects the continuation of a pattern in which negativity increases every election year compared with the year prior. The current gap between negative and positive views -- 20 percentage points -- is by far the highest Gallup has recorded since it began regularly asking the question in the 1990s. Trust in the media was much higher, and more positive than negative, in the years prior to 2004 -- as high as 72% when Gallup asked this question three times in the 1970s.

This year's decline in media trust is driven by independents and Republicans. The 31% and 26%, respectively, who express a great deal or fair amount of trust are record lows and are down significantly from last year. Republicans' level of trust this year is similar to what they expressed in the fall of 2008, implying that they are especially critical of election coverage.

Independents are sharply more negative compared with 2008, suggesting the group that is most closely divided between President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is quite dissatisfied with its ability to get fair and accurate news coverage of this election.

More broadly, Republicans continue to express the least trust in the media, while Democrats express the most. Independents' trust fell below the majority level in 2004 and has continued to steadily decline.

Gallup
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Adam Masterman
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I would call this new, andultimately a good thing. It's not really about partisanship anymore so much as ownership. The media is owned by a very small group, and that group shares little interests with the American public. So there are a great deal of stories, the dissemination of which would serve the public interest; which are not disseminated. And a great deal of stories which serve the interests of those who control the media which are given inordinate importance. The people are right to distrust the media, because the media is, broadly speaking, manipulating them towards interests that they mostly don't share.

Partisan media can be completely fair and trustworthy without being balanced at all. A George Will column and a Daily Show broadcast, respectively, are very partisan sources, and yet they have a track record of being honest as well as opinionated. They try to convince their audience, but they don't try to deceive their audience. This is a distinction that seems lost on people when they complain about media problems. The problem with Fox News is the same as the problem with NBC, CNN and other stations. The partisan biases are trivial, its the lies that they *all* tell that bite us in the arse. I actually find it heartening that the public is losing trust in them; they DESERVE it. The internet killing corporate media would be an almost unqualified good.

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Wayward Son
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Except there are more lies on the Internet as a whole than there is in the entire Mass Media. The major news sources normally try to check their sources; with the Internet, you don't know what you'll get. [Eek!]
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Most of the Media no longer even attempt to practice any kind of impartiality.
Heh. Not only do I not think this is true, I think the general attempts on the part of the media to practice impartiality make media outlets seem less trustworthy and reliable to Americans, who generally seek out and reward only those outlets that pander to their own biases. The perception that the media is more biased than ever before -- which is false on the face of it, given that the whole idea of media impartiality is at best 90 years old or so -- is probably due to the fact that the successful media outlets are rewarded for demonstrating bias.
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Adam Masterman
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Except there are more lies on the Internet as a whole than there is in the entire Mass Media. The major news sources normally try to check their sources; with the Internet, you don't know what you'll get. [Eek!]

Its not the content, its the form. If you sit and watch a broadcast on the riots in Egypt, and I follow the story online for the same duration of time; I will probably encounter more misinformation than you, but still be in a better position to discern what is accurate. Your broadcast's errors may be far more subtle, but you are much more at their mercy if that's your only source, even if you check different sources later. They have paved the narrative, which actually effects one's reading of new information on the same topic.
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seekingprometheus
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quote:
I think the general attempts on the part of the media to practice impartiality make media outlets seem less trustworthy and reliable to Americans, who generally seek out and reward only those outlets that pander to their own biases.
Bingo.

Mass media isn't at fault, the silly biased masses who drive media content are at fault. This is like a drunk driver injuring himself by steering his car into a tree and thereafter complaining about how untrustworthy vehicles are.

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