WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Little Confidence in Mass Media Journalism

Oct 7, 2014

The Shop Talk panelists discuss a Gallup poll that shows trust in mass media reporting is at an all-time low.

The story by Justin McCarthy said, “Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report ‘the news fully, accurately, and fairly’ has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.”

Panelist Jasmine Crighton said part of the problem might be the turnover in the news industry. She said she’s seen many veteran journalists become frustrated with the business and leave. If they’re replaced, the new reporter is often young and inexperienced.

Crighton also criticized the low wages often paid in the news industry.

Panelist Rich Moreno said reporters are often bearers of bad news, which might cause the public to have negative feelings about journalism.  He also said it’s becoming more difficult to discern the difference between real news websites and phony ones that are designed to mislead the audience.

The panelists said non-whites feel they often are not treated fairly in the media, a factor which might also contribute to the negative perception of reporters.

Panelist Rich Egger said the lack of trust in mass media could also be attributed to the failure by many reporters to ask tough questions.  He pointed out the behemoth National Football League is considered a tax exempt, non-profit organization, yet none of the major networks have looked in how that’s possible.