Media commits reputational suicide: Americans’ trust in them has collapsed since 2016

A new poll shows that Americans’ trust in the news has taken a hit over the past five years. 

The timeframe, of course, is not irrelevant as 2016 was the start of Donald Trump’s presidency. And, we are all well aware of the “fake news” that has followed.

The numbers

The poll comes from the Pew Research Center. The latest numbers come from a survey of U.S. adults that was conducted between June 14th and June 27th of 2021.

What the pollster found was that only 35 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of Independents have some kind of trust in national news organizations. The percentage of Democrats, however, was 78.

What the pollster did was compare these numbers to the numbers from a similar survey that was taken in 2016. And, what the pollster found was that these 2021 numbers represent dropoffs across the board.

The percentage of Republicans who trust in the media, for example, went from 70 percent in 2016 to 35 percent in 2021. Independents went from 76 percent to 58 percent. And, even the Democrats went from 83 percent to 78 percent.

The pollster also asked participants about trust in local news organizations and social media. Those numbers were far less dramatic. Although, both, again, saw a dropoff in trust.

A case-in-point

If you need an illustration to show why trust in the media has gone down, as the Washington Examiner reports, all one has to do is look at the recent incident with the liberal outlet Rolling Stone. 

Last week, Rolling Stone put out an article in which it claimed that hospitals in Oklahoma were being overrun by people overdosing on ivermectin. The outlet cited a Dr. Jason McElyea. And, after its publication, it was widely shared by liberals.

The article was clearly aimed at the unvaccinated Republicans. It was meant to paint a chaotic picture of foolish anti-vax Republicans flooding hospitals as the result of misusing a bogus coronavirus treatment. The point of the liberal outlet was “this is what happens when you don’t do what we say.”

It turns out, though, that none of it was true. The Northeastern Hospital System (NHS) made this clear in a statement that it released, forcing Rolling Stone to publish what it called an “update” in which it added the NHS’s statement to the original story.

So, if you want to know why trust in the media is down, here’s the reason. Journalism died long ago, here in America. Propaganda has taken its place, and, now, thanks to the presidency of Trump, some Americans have awoken to this fact.

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