Monday, June 20, 2016

Americans' confidence in newspapers slides to new low: poll

Only 20 percent of Americans have high confidence in US newspapers, hitting a all-time low since 1973, a latest Gallup poll found.

More in the US have low (36 percent) than high (20 percent) confidence in newspapers, according to the June 1-5 poll.

The rate of Americans expressing high confidence in newspapers has tumbled by 10 percentage points in the past decade, Gallup said.

This marked the 10th consecutive year that more Americans express little or no confidence in newspapers. The percentage of Americans expressing high confidence in newspapers has been dwindling since 2000, and the percentage expressing low or none confidence finally eclipsed it in 2007.

Newspapers have lose a vote of confidence from Democrats, including independents who lean Democratic, who are more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to have a significantly better view of newspapers.

That has held true even as confidence in newspapers among both groups has fallen over the past 16 years, Gallup said.

This is the first year that Democrats' confidence in newspapers is no longer net positive: 27 percent have little or no confidence in newspapers, slightly exceeding the 25 percent saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence.

By contrast, Republicans' views toward newspapers have tilted negative since 2004, according to Gallup.

The decline in public confidence in newspapers since 2000 is part of a larger pattern of decline in Americans' confidence in US institutions, Gallup said.

While average confidence across all 14 institutions fell from 40 percent in 2000 to 32 percent the last two years, confidence in newspapers fell from 37 percent to 20 percent over the same period.

The public's mood over the past 16 years has been something of a whirlpool, pulling most major US institutions underwater, but newspapers appear to be faring a bit worse than average, Gallup said.

The rise of digital media could be a factor in the trust Americans place in a traditionally print medium such as newspapers, it added.

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