A day after U.S. President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the headline in Axios read: Trust In Media Hits A New Low.” Felix Salmon wrote that, “For the first time ever, fewer than half of all Americans have trust in traditional media.” The Edelman survey showed overall faith in the press dropping to 46 per cent.
The traditional explanation for this phenomenon is that Republicans hate the press a lot, but Democrats just a little. The Axios story bore this out somewhat, as only 18 per cent of Republicans reported trusting media, versus 57 per cent of Democrats.
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Still, 57 per cent of half your potential audience is nothing to brag about, when you’re in the trust business. Other numbers, like 56 per cent of respondents believing journalists are “purposely trying to mislead people,” or 58 per cent thinking that “most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology … than with informing the public” are more ominous.