Fewer than half of Americans trust mainstream media, according to PR firm Edelman’s annual “trust barometer.” But rather than attempt to repair the relationship, media outlets blame their audience’s poor ‘information hygiene.’
Long headed for collapse, Americans’ trust in the media establishment hit an all time low in 2021, falling three points overall to just 46 percent, according to Edelman’s most recent annual survey. The figure marks the first time Americans’ trust of journalism sank below the 50 percent mark.
Americans’ trust in social media also hit rock bottom, clocking in at a miserable 27 percent, according to Edelman’s annual “trust barometer.” Globally, people’s faith in social media wasn’t much better, with just 35 percent of users deeming it a trustworthy source for “general news and information.”
Survey respondents did not hesitate to expound on their dim view of the journalistic profession, either – 56 percent of Americans agreed the media was “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations,” while 58 percent agreed most outlets were “more concerned with with supporting an ideology or political position than informing the public.”
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Perhaps unsurprisingly, breaking the numbers up by political party revealed a sharp contrast between Biden and Trump voters, with only 18 percent of the latter crowd deeming the media trustworthy in the wake of November’s presidential election. Even among Democrats, however, only 57 percent deemed the media trustworthy.
Conservatives, including the offspring of former president Donald Trump, took to social media to roll their eyes at what for them was stating the obvious. Most establishment outlets had after all been gushing about President Joe Biden’s inauguration in truly outrageous terms, comparing his inaugural speech to that of JFK and waxing poetic about Vice President Kamala Harris’ hair.
The media is done. Good riddance. pic.twitter.com/TLUqBdYUvP
— PUBLORD.HODL ☣ (@guydbennett) January 21, 2021
Others brought up dubious connections to “independent” media – including Edelman itself – suggesting the trust crisis had less to do with the media losing its touch than it did with Americans becoming more savvy regarding their manipulation.
The only group trusted by a majority of Americans out of Government, Media, NGOs, and Business in 2021 was, ironically, Big Business – even though corporations largely pull the strings of the media, politics, and the other institutions so many Americans seem to agree are not trustworthy. (RT)
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