“Across the board, trust in traditional news outlets continues to sink”
People throw around the term ‘fake news’ these days but it turns out a majority of the American people believe it’s a real problem. Conservatives are no longer alone in their accusations of media bias.
Joe Concha is a media reporter for The Hill and points to a report from Axios:
Stunning Axios poll that goes well beyond the usual conservative sentiment: “An overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) say that ‘traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading.’ – https://t.co/d2Z9Sv9WtW
— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) June 27, 2018
Sara Fischer wrote the report for Axios:
92% of Republicans think media intentionally reports fake news
Nearly all Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (92%) say that traditional news outlets knowingly report false or misleading stories at least sometimes, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll. Democrats and non-leaning independents also feel this way, but not nearly to the same extent.
Why it matters: The data shows that trust in the media is heavily influenced by partisan politics, with Republicans more skeptical of mainstream media than their Democratic and Independent counterparts. Other studies from Gallup and Pew Research Center have drawn similar conclusions.
Across the board, trust in traditional news outlets continues to sink, with the overwhelming majority of Americans (70%) saying that “traditional major news sources report news they know to be fake, false, or purposely misleading.”
- President Trump has exacerbated the skepticism amongst hardline conservatives with polarizing language (and tweets) about the mainstream media being “fake news.
Bad intentions: Among those that think traditional news outlets report false news, most think they do so intentionally.
- More than two-thirds (65%) say fake news is usually reported because “people have an agenda.”
- Roughly one-third (30%) believe such information is shared due to laziness or “poor fact-checking.”
- Hardly anyone (3%) thinks that fake news makes headlines by accident.
Professor Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit notes that the headline from Axios reinforces the findings of the report.
Media perceptions have been trending in this direction for a while now. Earlier this month, Andrew Malcolm wrote at Hot Air:
Confirmed: Americans See Media Bias Everywhere–And They’re Angry
Here, for a change, is a Friday bad-news dump for our country’s news media: Americans don’t believe you anymore. In fact, they’re pretty sure you knowingly publish inaccurate news, distort it and even make stuff up to suit your political bias and agenda.
And if you distribute the news on social media, they believe you even less.
These results from recent public surveys are not just bad news for the news business, struggling through a now-chronic financial crisis. They’re bad news for our form of democracy, which requires informed participation by voters relying on accurate news to cast their ballots. Misinformation can easily result in mistaken choices, or none at all.
Honestly, when consuming the news have you ever thought, even briefly, “What’s the point of objecting, they’re gonna publish what they want anyway?”
Just yesterday, Ace of Spades noted that CNN is now falling behind the Food Network in ratings.
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