Confidence in TV News and Newspapers Plummets, Study Finds

Gallup finds confidence in TV news at all-time low — even before Fox News and CNN's healthcare flubs 

Americans have real trust issues when it comes to television news and newspapers.

That's the take-away from a new survey by Gallup, which found that confidence in television news has plummeted to a new low, with a mere 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal of confidence in boob tube reporting. 

Newspapers didn't fare much better. Confidence in the print publications, which have been besieged by layoffs and falling revenue, fell three percentage points to 25 percent of those surveyed. 

The Gallup poll was based on telephone interviews conducted between June 7 to 10 among a random sample of 1,004 adults across the country. 

It could have been worse, as the survey's authors note. The findings preceded CNN and Fox News' embarrassing flubs regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's decision on the U.S. healthcare law. In a rush to broadcast the news, both networks erroneously reported that the individual mandate seemed to have been struck down, when it fact it was upheld.

Also read: Supreme Court Health Care Ruling Confuses CNN, Fox News 

"Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general," the study's authors write. 

It is a far cry from the 1990s, when Americans' confidence in both print and television news routinely ranked above 30 percent, according to similar Gallup studies taken at the time. 

The confidence gap in the major sources of news is even starker when measured across the ideological spectrum. For the first time in nearly five years, liberals and moderates expressed less confidence in television news than conservatives. Twenty percent of moderates and 22 percent of conservatives were confident in television reporting, while liberals lagged behind at 19 percent, the study found. 

Those on the political left were more enthusiastic about newspapers, however. Although their views had softened from previous years, 30 percent of liberals expressed confidence in newspapers compared to 27 percent of moderates and 21 percent of conservatives.