Trust in American media has fallen to new lows, according to the 2021 trust barometer data by marketing consultancy firm Edelman. Less than 50 percent of Americans trust in traditional media, while faith in social media was at a paltry 27 percent.
Almost 56 percent of Americans agreed with the suggestion that the media is reporting false news and exaggerating some news to purposely mislead the public. Fifty-eight percent feel that most news organizations do not care about reporting the truth and only want to support their political position or ideology.
In fact, when re-polling was done after the 2020 U.S. presidential race, the trust in media had deteriorated even more. Only 18 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats trusted the media. Given the widespread irregularities and fraud seen in the 2020 election, and the subsequent suppression or dismissal of such investigations by the mainstream media, it is not surprising that people barely trust the news organizations and big social media platforms anymore. Trump’s war on fake news is not the cause of such widespread distrust, he merely confirmed or deepened such feelings.
The majority of people trust the CEO of their employers more than the media
Interestingly, most people seem to have much more faith in their business leaders than the press or even government officials. “Business is not only the most trusted institution among the four studied, but it is also the only trusted institution, with a 61 percent trust level globally, and the only institution seen as both ethical and competent… When the government is absent, people clearly expect business to step in and fill the void, and the high expectations of business to address and solve today’s challenges has never been more apparent,” Edelman states. Sixty-one percent of Trump voters admitted to trusting the CEO of their employers while only 21 percent had any trust in journalists.
A Gallup poll conducted in Sept. 2020 showed that only 9 percent of Americans trusted mass media “a great deal.” 31 percent trusted it “a fair amount.” The majority of Americans saw mass media as untrustworthy, with 27 percent agreeing that they have “not very much” trust in the media, while 33 percent admitting to having zero trust.
Back in Jan. 2020, a Pew Research poll had found that more Republicans were distrustful of news organizations than Democrats. Conservatives’ negative view of most mainstream media is driven by the incredibly biased way in which these organizations have gone to extremes in supporting liberal-left ideologies.
In early January this year, Republican Senator Ron Johnson noted that the American public is “alarmed by what they have witnessed over the last four years: a thoroughly corrupt FBI investigation of a duly elected president; a grossly biased media that has chosen sides and uses its power to interfere in our politics to a far greater extent than any foreign entity could ever hope to achieve; an increasingly powerful social media that censors news and conservative voices; and courts and election officials that usurp the constitutional authority of state legislatures.”