Liberals and conservatives, according to a new Gallup survey, can agree on one thing: they don’t think very highly of television news.
Gallup’s annual survey on confidence in U.S. institutions finds that Americans’ confidence in TV news at a new low, with only 21 percent of adults expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in it. Last year, 27 percent reported confidence in TV news. It’s quite a change from 1993, Gallup’s first such survey, when 46 percent expressed confidence in TV news.
Traditionally, liberals and moderates have had more confidence in the medium than conservatives. In 2009, 28 percent of liberals and 23 percent of moderates were confident in tv news. Today, they report 19 percent and 20 percent confidence, respectively. Twenty-two percent of conservatives surveyed recently say they trust television news. Democrats — separate from liberals or moderates — are the most confident in TV news at 34 percent.
Gallup’s survey, conducted June 7-10, predates the erroneous reporting by CNN and Fox News on the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. While CNN has promised an internal review of its reporting process, it was a public and well-publicized bungle. Coupled with declining ratings at the network, it amounts to a series of bad headlines for the cable news pioneer. Gallup suggests that the Supreme Court reporting blunder could further sour Americans’ view of television news.
“More broadly, these and other networks — and the news media as a whole — will have to renew their efforts to show Americans that they deserve a higher level of confidence than what they enjoy today,” Gallup wrote in its analysis.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com