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Gallup poll says more Americans mistrust local and national media

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Posted at 1:01 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 16:48:47-05

According to poll data, just 24% of Americans trust TV anchors and the new data found that journalists as a whole don't rank much better at 26%.  

Start by understanding how trust works. We trust people and institutions we're close to. Polling shows Americans have more trust in their local government than their state government and more trust in their state government than those at the federal level.  

The more local, the more trusted. The same goes for news.  

A Knight Foundation and Gallup poll found Americans trust local news more than national news. But recently, Americans are getting less local news. Almost 1,800 newspapers have closed since 2004, and less local news means a disconnect between media and consumers. 

Too much news can also be a problem. While print news has dropped off, options on the news on TV have grown. The days of the "big three" in TV news networks are gone, which means more networks competing for eyeballs.  

It all has led to networks increasingly catering to niche audiences, creating a partisan divide. 

A poll from the Pew Research Center shows nearly 8 in 10 Democrats say they have a lot or some trust in national media. Just 35% of Republicans agree. Republicans mistrust local news more, too, yet each is more trusting of certain outlets.

Take the New York Times, for example with 53% of Democrats trust it, while 6% don't. 15% of Republicans trust The Times, compared to 42% who don't. The numbers flip for an outlet like Fox with 65% of Republicans trusting the network, while just 19% don't. 23% of Democrats trust it, and 61% don't.  

Couple partisan divides with growing misinformation online and on social media, and it creates an environment ripe for mistrust. But, those who follow the media closely say it's a problem the industry is working to fix.  

Lee Rainie, from the Pew Research Center said, "The charge to people who are in the thick of this new environment is to figure out how to help people find their way to the truth and not make it a hard job. Americans couldn't be clearer about that. They want to know what is going on, and they want help doing it and they are looking to journalists to help solve these problems."

This report was originally published by Newsy.