Guess Where the American Media Ranks in Consumer Trust? LAST in the World
The United States ranks last in media trust — at 29% — among 92,000 news consumers surveyed in 46 countries, a report released Wednesday found. That’s worse than Poland, worse than the Philippines, worse than Peru. (Finland leads at 65%.)
The annual digital news report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford also found some improvement in trust in nearly all the countries surveyed — probably thanks to COVID-19 coverage — but not in the U.S. where the low rating was flat year to year.
One explanation, though not necessarily the only one, is the extreme political polarization in the U.S. This study, like many others, found extremely high levels of distrust — 75% of those who identify as being on the right thought coverage of their views is unfair.
Inside the thick liberal-media bubble, Poynter & Pals can’t seem to ask themselves whether they are victims of extreme polarization or participants in extreme polarization. They spent the Trump years constantly goading each other to be more polarized, that Trump (and his supporters) could never be “normalized.”
The basic survey question is asked like this: “I think you can trust most news most of the time.” It’s not surprising that 75 percent of conservatives would say no. That seems low!
Edmonds went to Reuters Institute author Rasmus Kleis Nielsen for insights. One was young Americans, especially minorities, don’t trust the media (not “woke” enough?). As for the conservatives, Nielsen posited:
“Political partisans, especially on the right, trust the news much less and also do not feel news organizations cover their views fairly. News media may be able to respond to this concern.
“The question is what compromise that might entail on, for example, calling out unsubstantiated allegations of election fraud. And how would any attempts to appeal more to those on the political right, often older white Americans, combine with attempts to appeal to younger and more diverse audiences, who are often more liberal? It is a clear option, but there may be trade-offs and choices here.”
There’s one obvious answer that the liberal media never want to consider. That’s trying to be more objective, more fair and balanced, trying to present both sides of argument as if both have a right to be heard. Instead, the “news” we often consume is heavily loaded with opinion, burying the conservative viewpoint unless it’s being shredded as false or fascist…or both.