The vast majority of Americans don’t trust the US news media due to perceptions of inaccuracy, bias and unfairness, according to a new survey, putting the country’s news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions.
Just 6 percent of people say they have a lot of confidence in the media, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute, in partnership with the Media Insight Project.
Faced with ever-increasing sources of information, Americans also are more likely to rely on news that is up-to-date, concise and cites expert sources or documents, the poll found.
About 4 in 10 say they can remember a specific incident that eroded their confidence in the media, most often one that dealt with accuracy or a perception that it was one-sided, according to the study.
“The most important thing that news organizations can do is be accurate, and while we know that is a high value, this study reinforces that,” said Margaret Sullivan, public editor of The New York Times.
About 6 in 10 Americans watch, read, or hear news several times a day, as computers, mobile phones and tablets make it easier for people to follow the news on an on-demand basis.
A majority of people get their news from social media like Facebook and Twitter. Yet only 12 percent of those who use Facebook say they have a lot of trust in the news and information they see on the site.
The US news media have been hit by a series of blunders on high-profile stories ranging from the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling on President Barack Obama’s health care law to the Boston Marathon bombing that have helped feed negative perceptions of the media.