Most people know
It’s an extraordinary poll and a nation unravelling.
Two thirds of American’s don’t trust the media. Half even think they are actively lying, and don’t care about their audience. Nine out of ten people think the media is political biased. As the trust evaporates, people are switching off the national news. A vast majority of people on one side of the political spectrum now view the media unfavorably, and while that number had jumped in Republican and Independent voters in the last three years — it is even rising in Democrat voters too.
The poll reveals, bizarrely, that more than half of the nation thinks the people who really “run” the country are not known to voters. I don’t think I’ve even seen pollsters ask that question before. Effectively then, it follows that nearly six out of ten people think that Joe Biden is not the one running the country, and the same goes for Congress. Barely one person in five thinks voters are choosing the decision-makers.
It’s not just trust in the media that’s collapsing, but trust in the government, and even faith in the workings of democracy is gone. This is a nation in turmoil. But the good news is that most people don’t believe the media, or the government.
Skeptics are in the majority.
The media are lying to us
Only about one third of American’s still think they can rely on the media to inform them. But half the population not only think the media is unreliable, but is deliberately lying to them. They think the media intends to mislead, misinform or persuade them. Showing that this malicious interpretation is not an accident, half the US also thinks the media don’t care about their audience.
Trust is evaporating
Look at the change since the start of the pandemic and the debacle of the 2020 election. Trust in the media has fallen across voters of every political type. More people than ever view the media unfavourably. The rising red line measures the fall in trust of the US media. Nearly 80% of Republican voters view the media unfavorably, and in the last five years, despite the bias towards the Democrats, even ten percent of Democrats have “lost the faith” too.
In the biggest shift, one-in-five independent voters has realized the media is a bad thing.
This is a long term trend — back in 1984, only 42% thought that the media was not doing a good job of separating fact from opinion.
More then half of the US thinks the people who really “run” the country are not known to voters
Faith in the workings of democracy is gone. Nearly six out of ten can see that Joe Biden is not the one running the country. Barely one person in five thinks he does. This result applies to Congress too — whoever is running the country is behind the scenes.
The good news is that eight out of ten people either don’t trust government accounts or are not sure, and most people value the opinion of “ordinary people” more than experts or politicians.
There was a split: 71% of those who didn’t trust the media also believe that the people who really “run” the country are unknown to the voters; but even 46% of those who trusted the media also felt this way. Even half the people who believe the propaganda on TV are still skeptical that Joe Biden runs America.
Americans are switching off the national news
In the last two years, and astonishing 22% of people have stopped paying “a great deal of attention” to the national news.
It’s becoming obvious to everyone that the media is a political player
As many as 89% of all voters in 2022 think there is a fair amount, or “a lot” of political bias in the media.
Which way does the media bias run? Ask the voters
79% of Republicans think the media is biased “a great deal” — the highest category they could choose. There are virtually no Republican’s left who think the news is not biased. That says everything anyone needs to know about the direction of bias.
They can’t fool most of the people.
Download the “Trust in Media and Democracy” PDF
Knight Foundation Poll — The survey of 5,593 people was done in June and July of last year. The organisation notes that they changed the survey and sampling methods which may have affected the results. What was a paper survey went largely online. Sigh.
See also Part 1 of the American Views 2022 and past reports in 2018: American views: Trust, media and democracy
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February 18, 2023 at 12:58PM