Obama Administration

Trust in Media Dips But Other Institutions Lag Behind

Johnny Carson first gained notoriety in 1957 when he hosted a game show called “Who Do You Trust?” If some of our important public institutions were contestants on that show today, chances are they’d be judged as losers.

To put it bluntly, the public is grumpy. Americans are growing more distrustful of our public institutions. In fact, attitudes about the news media are at an all-time low in most categories measure during the past 25 years by the Pew Research Center.

And the media fares better than our other important organizations such a state and federal governments, business and Congress.

A Pew survey released in September concluded the press is seen as:

  • Lacking in fairness (77 percent);
  • Unwilling to admit mistakes (72 percent):
  • Perpetrating inaccurate reporting (66 percent); as well as
  • Engaging in political bias (63 percent).

The Pew Research Center’s first surveyed the public on news attitudes in 1985, Back then, a majority of respondents said that news organizations were often influenced by powerful people and organizations (53 percent) and tended to favor one side (53 percent).