Public trust in newspapers and television news continued to decline in Gallup’s annual survey of “public confidence in major institutions” in the United States, reaching an all-time low this year.
Those having a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers dipped from 30% to 28% in one year, the same total for television. The previous low for newspapers was 29% in 1994. Since 2000, confidence in newspapers has declined from 37% to 28%, and TV from 36% to 28%, according to the poll.
However, some other institutions fared far worse this year, suggesting a broad level of distrust, cynicism or malaise.
Confidence in the presidency plunged from 52% to 44%, with Congress and the criminal-justice system also suffering 8% drops. Confidence in the U.S. Supreme Court fell from 46% to 41%. The 22% confidence rating for Congress is its lowest in eight years, and self-identified Republicans have only a slightly more positive view of the institution than do Democrats.
The military topped the poll with a 74% confidence rating, with the police at 63% and organized religion at 53%. Big business and Congress (both at 22%) and HMOs (17%) brought up the rear.
Looking at the newspaper numbers, of those surveyed, 24% say they have “very little” confidence in them, while 1% said “none.” By far the highest number, 46%, said “some,” with 28% expressing strong confidence.