Interesting and depressing survey about trust in media.

The Founders knew that an informed citizenry is critical to the success of our democracy. First Amendment and a constitutionally mandated Post Office are evidence. That about 1/3rd of our country gets their news from social media is amazing. Also Republicans don’t even trust the WSJ (only 27% do, the same as Alex Jones trust among Republicans). Conspiracies flourish when trust is gone. The founders knew that, we don’t.

29 thoughts on “Interesting and depressing survey about trust in media.

  1. One way to read the poll: people trust the news sources they use, but very few sources are used (trusted) by everyone. Is this a problem?

    I suppose it might be, depending on one’s philosophy. If you believe, for example, that democracy depends on everyone working from the same collection of facts, a dispersion of fact sources might seem debilitating. Or, if you believe that democracy depends on diversity of knowledge and opinion, then you might be comfortable with the reality that fact sources today are spread out across the populace. I’m more inclined to the latter view.

    But there is still a problem. Ideally, no one should trust any source of news that they rely on. I don’t mean that all sources are bad. I mean that every consumer of news must develop a BS filter and become skillful at distinguishing between good reporting and bad.

    With this in mind, I think the reason no particular source of news has the trust of the majority of consumers is that all of them fail the objective tests that most consumers apply to them.


    1. In the poll, Democrats are more trusting than Republicans regarding MSM. And that is across a wide variety of media.

      Republicans are seemingly stuck in FOX, OAN, Breitbart and Newsmax. Interesting that trust in FOX dropped a bit in the last year. Just guessing, but I think the “rebellion” of a few reporters about the election WRT to fraud and lack of it.

      So I don’t think we can discount the value of confirmation bias as a determinant for trust.

      But that still does not scrap the obligation of a citizen to be informed in a democracy. Cross referencing and fact checking are so easy today.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. RE: “So I don’t think we can discount the value of confirmation bias as a determinant for trust.”

        OK, but by the same token let’s not make more of the confirmation bias effect than it deserves. I propose that confirmation bias has positive effects. For example, if one uses news sources that tend to align with one’s biases, one is likely to see nuances in the reporting that actually improve learning and understanding.


  2. Well, if an organization consistently lies to you for 40 years, and when caught in the lies never admits they were wrong(thus eliminating the possibility of an honest mistake) would you not be a fool to continue to trust them?


    1. Has FOX and News Corp been around that long? Time flies when lying a lot. Old Tucker admitted to lying and said no one expects him to be truthful. (Or was he lying about that too?)😇

      Media has been all over the spectrum of veracity since the founding. “Yellow journalism” was the fact of press life for centuries. Unless you can figure out how to control that and maintain a free press, you have to learn to live with it to stay informed. Most MSM do a decent job of correcting errors. Most get the facts right. And the citizens have an obligation to at least check. Fact-checking is a relatively new media tool and smart folks will take the extra minute or two to verify.

      Perhaps a reminder of what journalism is in Russia might make Americans appreciate what we have. Putin determines truth and any deviation is at your peril. Dead or imprisoned journalists might make American conservatives happy for now…until their folks get jailed.

      When Alex Jones is as credible as WSJ, there is an obvious disconnect to reality among a decent core of our electorate.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Tucker Carlson is commentary, not news. The distrust is because we have been lied to by the reporting, and non reporting, of the news. Opinion you can agree or disagree, but when the news is false, you can’t have a debate when the facts are distorted, or hidden.

        Putin has nothing to do with the credibility of US MSM.


        1. I disagree on the lying as a matter of some kind of conspiracy as you suggest.

          Sure media have biases. They ALL do, right and left. They are run by humans who are not perfect last I checked.

          Yes Tucker is a pundit but he is trusted by 65% of Republicans. An admitted liar, from his own lips, too. He is making millions lying. And that people believe him is because they want to be lied to.

          And that willingness is ripe for an aspiring dictator.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. You keep mentioning Tucker. He is commentary, not news.

            And I’m not talking about bias in editorial opinion, I’m talking about colluding with other news sources and tech companies to hide important news from the public.

            Can you show me where FOX has done anything like that?


          2. “You keep mentioning Tucker. He is commentary, not news.”

            That is a distinction that is not really there. Carlson constantly shares “facts.” Call it news, call it commentary, the effect is the same – millions of people believing nonsense.

            Liked by 2 people

        2. “Putin has nothing to do with the credibility of US MSM.”

          Never said he did. I don’t even know what you mean.

          I said if you look at Russia you see what lack of press freedom will do.

          You hate MSM (except the ones you agree with of course) and deplore all Democrats. Keeping that in mind a person might think you are just a grump.

          I like some Republicans, they have had some policies I could agree with. I think WSJ, NR have credible writers and ideas.

          FOX news does have some decent reporting.

          But I am not bitter about the rest. Just disappointed for my country that so many hate it.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “Most MSM do a decent job of correcting errors. Most get the facts right.”

        I don’t find that to be true at all. Just recently, the level of false reporting in the MSM on the war in Ukraine has been flabbergasting.


        1. I disagree on Ukraine reporting. There are journalists on the ground from all over the world and there may be discrepancies but the truth is dominant.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Again, I don’t find it so. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been following several independent journalists on the ground in Mariupol, one from America, one from France, one from Australia. All have consistently reported on the murder of civilians by Ukrainian forces. But just this morning I saw an MSM outlet reporting that Russian forces had killed 10,000 civilian residents in Mariupol. Or, take the MSM reporting on the Bucha massacre and the bombing of the train station in Kramatorsk. Western MSM sources routinely report these two events as Russian war crimes, despite evidence to the contrary and despite the fact no formal investigations have been completed.


          2. You believe what you want. There is no evidence that Ukrainians are killing each other by the thousands to blame Russia.

            To keep that conspiracy alive would be impossible. It is right up there with Italian satellites hacking counting machine in 2020. Only worse because people are dying instead of signing phony affidavits or looking for bamboo slivers.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. RE: “To keep that conspiracy alive would be impossible.”

            I don’t know what conspiracy you are talking about. You say, “There are journalists on the ground from all over the world and there may be discrepancies but the truth is dominant.” I say there are journalists on the ground who are reporting the opposite of the MSM narrative.

            The point is, the “truth” you claim to be “dominant” isn’t.


          4. RE: “I disagree.”

            What do you disagree with?

            Do you think Russian forces killed more civilians in Mariupol than Ukrainian forces did?

            Do you think Russia committed war crimes in Bucha and Kramatorsk?

            Do you think Western MSM has presented “dominant truth” on any of those issues?


          5. The ill- and misinformed calling others misinformed is some sort of deflection tactic used by TFG and his minions on a regular basis.

            Too bad an intelligent individual performs that act so regularly.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. You wrote that I was misinformed about Russians killing civilians and the war crimes in Bucha.

            Those are the stories based on Russian propaganda and spread by their supporters on the ground.

            I think that is pretty outrageous myself.

            You posted several videos that say Ukrainians are killing each other and blaming Russians. I disagree. But that is the Lavrov lie.

            We know what Putin did in Chechnya and Syria. Killing civilians in mass is war “Russian style”.Flatten towns with artillery then send in the peasant army to rape and pillage, just like Zhukov did with great success in WW2. Lose a lot of lives, but so what.

            So I stand on my opinion.

            Liked by 2 people

          7. “That is an outrageous thing to say.”

            So now the truth is outrageous? That says quite a bit about what you believe.

            Lies are truth, news is fake, and the sky is falling. Got IT!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I know your slant on this is conservative news sources can’t be trusted but of course those (lying) liberal leaning MSM sources should have full faith from the hoi polloi. I don’t trust any of them to be either truthful, non-misleading or agenda driven so I employ Mr. Robert’s BS filter and never watch any. Easy…

    It seems better to get news from various online sources, investigate what interests you and make up your own mind what the facts of the story are. Quite often what is being sold as news is just very biased crap.


    1. What are your online sources?

      I subscribe to a news aggregator, Apple News, which cover a broad spectrum. Then it is cheap and easy to cross check there or anywhere on the net as information develops.

      I prefer organizations that have “boots on the ground” as well as pundits sitting at a desk.

      If, as was oft repeated by the last administration, the press in an enemy of the people, who will be the source of news that is factual? What is left are your neighbors, politicians, social media, government…impeccable sources, no doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My “news” sources? I thought I made it clear I dont trust “news” therefore I don’t follow any of them. I see various headlines that typically expose the bias of the content, I read a little and then I research various professional organizations, colleges , counter arguments, etc on the subject to gain perspective before determining what I believe is the truth and quite often liberal MSM is agenda driven crap.


        1. Great. You are doing what I suggest everyone should do. Google topics and there are plenty of sites, media or not, to verify or dispute.

          If something is current, media is a good place to start. I am not as jaded against media as some and since I cannot be present, or have the contacts, I do have to trust those that are and do. Even so, a starting point should not necessarily be the end point.

          The only media that everyone can challenge from first hand knowledge? Weather sites.

          Liked by 1 person

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