Americans Don't Want an Activist Media
News to the news media.
A study of the public’s attitude toward the press reveals that distrust goes deeper than partisanship and down to how journalists define their very mission.
The study defines five core principles or beliefs that drive most journalists: keep watch on public officials and the powerful; amplify voices that often go unheard; society works better with information out in the open; the more facts people have the closer they will get to the truth; and it’s necessary to spotlight a community’s problems to solve them.
Yet the survey, which asked non-journalists a series of questions designed to measure support for each of those ideas, found unqualified majority support for only one of them. Two-thirds of those surveyed fully supported the fact-finding mission.
Half of the public embraced the principle that it’s important for the media to give a voice to the less powerful, according to the survey, and slightly less than half fully supported the roles of oversight and promoting transparency.
Less than a third of the respondents agreed completely with the idea that it’s important to aggressively point out problems. Only 11% of the public, most of them liberals, offered full support to all five ideas.
"Most of them liberals".
What the AP is dancing around is the reality that most people are actually not fans of the media's role as activists. People want facts from the media, they don't particularly want advocacy. Whereas the media is uninterested in facts except as a vehicle for its advocacy.
The public wants the media to serve, while the media wants to rule. It wants to be in charge, to overthrow politicians, and to tell people what to think and what to do.
In the last full year of the Trump presidency, Gallup found trust went up to 73% among Democrats and plunged to 10% among Republicans.
You get numbers like that when you're affiliated with one side against the other.
The media's only real response to public distrust has been to try and eliminate the competition. The media has now spent 5 years of intense pressure and lobbying to censor conservatives on social media. Whenever a new dot com business model arises, such as Substack, the media pushes the red button and tries to destroy it. Faced with increasing public hostility, the media contrives to be sponsored by lefty billionaires and to turn its operations into non-profits. The media is a political operation. And it intends to stay that way. The public hates that. It's that simple.