by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Among major American institutions, the media have had a particularly rough ride over the past year. Public trust in the media’s integrity and performance has soured significantly in recent months, with big media credibility continuing to sink, the latest I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
The most recent data come from our May online nationwide poll of 1,320 adults, taken from May 4-6. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 points.
Each month since March of 2021, poll respondents have been asked the following two questions:
1. “Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the traditional or established news media (Example: Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, CBS News, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?”
2. “Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the alternative news media (Example: New York Post, Washington Times, NewsMax, The Daily Caller, RealClearPolitics, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?”
For the more mainstream “established” media in the first question, the poll shows how poorly in the public’s esteem the news outlets are: Only 37% of those who responded said they had either “a lot of trust” (15%) or “quite a bit of trust” (22%) in the media.
Meanwhile, 56% said they either had “little trust” (28%) or “no trust at all” (28%), for an overall negative trust reading of -19 points. An abysmal reading given the central informational role the media play in our daily lives.
The so-called Alternative Media do even worse.
Just 29% say they trust alternative media, with that total made up of 9% giving a “lot of trust” and 20% delivering “quite a bit of trust.”
Once again, those who don’t trust the alternative media greatly out numbered those that did.