One more institution that’s lost our confidence: TV News

The first time Gallup asked about Americans’ confidence in TV news was 1993. That year, 46 percent said they had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the information they received from the newscasters. I would bet that if they had asked earlier, the confidence level would have been even higher.

But they’ve asked the question twice a year since then, and it’s been a long, slow but fairly steady slide. The latest round, just in from the field, shows a new all-time low with just 21 percent expressing either “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the information they receive from TV news. That’s a drop of 6 percentage points from last year.

Of course, TV newscasters are hardly the only group in the United States for whom the public has recently expressed an all-time low confidence or approval rating.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by christopher mitchell on 07/11/2012 - 10:39 am.

    Good News

    This is the best news I have heard in a long time. The TV is for entertainment and overwhelmingly fails to inform people of important news stories. Worse, it actively misinforms most.

  2. Submitted by Maria Jette on 07/11/2012 - 03:17 pm.

    Speaking of confidence…

    I have so little confidence (or interest) in TV news that I never watch it. Instead, I’d like to express my all-time low confidence in much of the American public!

  3. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/11/2012 - 07:49 pm.

    Add another

    to the list of oxymorons.
    You’re right, Christopher, but the question is, where DO they get their news?
    Talk radio?

  4. Submitted by Karen Sandness on 07/12/2012 - 02:37 am.

    About 30 years ago, I noticed that local news consisted of ten minutes of sports, ten minutes of weather, and ten minutes of crimes, fires, “cute” stories, and thinly disguised commercials for network programming.

    Disgust with the triviality of the national network and cable news followed shortly afterward. Their fake balance became increasingly annoying, too, especially when facts and nonsense are granted equal billing:

    Guest: “The earth is an oblate spheroid that travels in an elliptical orbit around the sun…”
    Interviewer: “…and now for an alternative view of the Earth’s place in the universe, here’s Crack Potter of the Flat Earth Society…”

    or when the scope of the discussion is artificially narrowed to exclude any options that are not officially approved:
    Guest 1: “I think we should invade Country X and throw everything we’ve got at them, including nukes.”
    Guest 2: “I think we should continue sanctions for a year or so and then invade them, only without the nukes.”
    Guest1: “You’re a bleeding heart liberal!”
    No mention of the third option, which is to leave Country X alone.

    I could go on, but the upshot of it is, I haven’t trusted any news media for years. Fortunately, the Internet now allows me to read newspapers from all over the world. If you read enough viewpoints, you eventually figure out what is really going on.

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