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New Study Finds Americans Believe Journalists Act More Unethically Than Police, Military

Pew Research polled Americans on trust in leaders

New Pew Research polling indicates 66% of American adults think journalists act unethically some or all of the time. Comparatively, 81% believe congresspeople act unethically some or all of the time, 69% believe that of religious leaders and 61% believe it of police officers.

The polling, out Thursday, was conducted to measure trust in those who hold positions of power.

71% of respondents believe members of Congress face consequences for unethical behavior little or none of the time and 79% believe members of Congress admit mistakes or take responsibility little or none of the time. Journalists, they said, face little or no consequences 51% of the time and take little or no responsibility 54% of the time. Police officers are believed to face little or no consequences for unethical behavior 45% of the time, according to the same polling, and take little or no responsibility 44% of the time.

This tracks with other current polling as it relates to media trust. A recent survey of 1,010 American adults by Bospar PR 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.

“The survey shows that beyond the realms of ethics and transparency, Americans have varying levels of confidence in key aspects of job performance by those who hold important positions of power and responsibility,” said Pew of its latest findings.

It went on, “Generally, the public has the most confidence in the way K-12 public school principals, military leaders and police officers operate when it comes to caring about people, providing fair and accurate information to the public and handling resources responsibly.”