The media is like drugs, most people claim they don’t like it and don’t use it, but you can still see the track marks on their arms and the talking points in their conversations.
The percentage of Americans saying they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers dropped to 23 percent this year from 25 percent last year, according to a report on the poll, which was released Monday.
American confidence in newspapers reached its peak at 51 percent in 1979, and a low of 22 percent in 2008.
But newspapers don’t stand alone. Confidence in television news has also been slipping — it’s tied with newspapers this year at 23 percent, which is slightly up from last year’s all-time low of 21 percent. Newspapers and television news rank near the bottom of a list of 16 “societal institutions,” according to the report. The only institutions television news and newspapers beat out this year are big business, organized labor, health maintenance organizations and Congress. Americans expressed the most confidence in the military, at 76 percent, and small businesses, at 65 percent.
The media could take responsibility for the situation… Or blame the Internet,
Gallup attributed the drop in confidence to a number of factors, including a growth in social networking websites and an online audience that left news outlets struggling to find their place.
“Americans’ confidence in newspapers and television news has been slowly eroding for many years, worsening further since 2007,” the report says. “By that point, newspapers and television news had been struggling for years to figure out how to adjust their strategy for a growing Internet audience.“
If the issue were viewership then the Internet might be to blame, but this is about confidence. The only way to blame the Internet for that is because the web has shown that it is better at reporting and fact checking than the New York Times.