From Gallup’s annual “Confidence in Institutions” survey:
Americans continue to express near-record-low confidence in newspapers and television news — with no more than 25% of Americans saying they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in either. These views have hardly budged since falling more than 10 percentage points from 2003-2007.
Of the 16 institutions tested, Americans were most confident in the military and least confident in Congress, with newspapers and TV news coming in “on par with Americans’ lackluster confidence in banks and slightly better than their dismal rating of Health Management Organizations and big business”— but slightly worse, I’d add, than public schools and the criminal justice system.
While 18- to 29-year-olds express more trust in newspapers than most older Americans, Gallup polling has found they read national newspapers the least. Younger Americans also expressed more confidence than older Americans in several other institutions tested, including Congress, the medical system, and the criminal justice system, suggesting younger Americans are more confident in institutions in general.Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.