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.