Sunday, June 16, 2013
The annual Gallup survey revealing confidence in institutions made news earlier this week for a record low score of 10% for Congress. But another figure is noteworthy in the study: only 23% of those polled said they had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Television News.
One would think that 77% lacking trust in television news is a staggering number. Yet it is actually an improvement over last year’s results of 79% (or 21% with confidence).
If the new low for Congress has something to do with recent political scandals, perhaps the media’s coverage of those scandals has given them a slight boost. However, other polls show trust in media to be even worse.
Another survey from earlier this year by Rasmussen concluded that only 6% rate news media as “very trustworthy” with twice as many (12%) who believe the news is “Not At All Trustworthy”.
These surveys seem to contribute to the increasing trend of people turning to the Internet for their news. Pew Research’s State of the Media study for 2013 showed that online news is the only growing sector in the news industry.
Although it’s difficult to prove that getting news from the Internet translates into an increase alternative views, some indications are that this is the case.
A survey conducted last month in Australia showed that 50% of Australians who oppose vaccination got their information from the Internet, while only 17% of people who support vaccination got their information online.
This would seem to suggest that when people are exposed to alternative information and more in-depth reporting they will change their views.