‘Fake News’ Fears: 95% of Americans ‘Troubled’ by Current State of Media, Poll Finds

Study finds that 67% of people think journalistic ethics will be worse during the 2020 election

Last Updated: September 11, 2019 @ 7:23 AM

Nearly all Americans are “troubled” by the state of the media, according to a new study from boutique PR agency, Bospar, in collaboration with Propeller Insights.

The survey of 1,010 American adults found that more than 95% are troubled by the current state of media, with 53% citing “reports on fake news,” 49% citing “reporting gossip,” and 48% citing “lying spokespeople,” as the key causes.

Other factors ranging from “celebrity opinions” to left- and right-wing agendas to the possible reporting of “blind items” in the news also spark concern.

Of the respondents, 67% believe ethics in journalism will be worse during the 2020 presidential campaign, while 40% of those surveyed considered local print and online journalists as the most ethical and 23% considered local TV reporters and anchors most ethical. National print and online journalists are considered the most trustworthy by 22%, while only 15% said national TV anchors and reporters were the most ethical.

Notably these results were released the week before Bospar is set to host its Ethics in Media Panel with the San Francisco Chapter of Public Relations Society of America and the San Francisco Press Club.

“If ever there was a time for an in-depth discussion about ethics in the media, it’s now,” James Ennis Kirkland, president of the San Francisco Press Club, said according to a release from Bospar.

Media-trust polling isn’t new. In May, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee launched a “mainstream media accountability survey” into inboxes around the country. The effort was a joint project paid for by the Donald Trump presidential campaign and the Republican National committee.

“The media loves to pretend they’re unbiased, but that couldn’t be further from the truth,” an email promoting the survey read. “Liberal propaganda machines have used every possible tactic to slander, undermine, and insult the President as he fights to put AMERICA FIRST.”