More People Call Media Dishonest, Both Globally and Nationally

Opinions regarding the honesty and ethics of media continue to worsen, especially when it comes to television reporters, recent surveys reveal.

Globally, 67% of people surveyed worry that journalists and reporters are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations,” a new Edelman survey finds. That’s up 8% from last year. It’s also virtually tied with the 66% who say their country’s government is intentionally misleading or lying to them (up 9%).

In the U.S., Americans’ trust in the honesty and ethical standards of reporters also fell, with faith in television reporters hitting the lowest level on record, newly-released results of Gallup’s annual Policy and Ethics Poll, begun in 1976 and updated annually since 1990, show.

Just 14% rate the honesty and ethical standards of TV reporters positively, while 48% have a negative view. TV reporters’ rating has fallen nine points since 2017, a long-term decline Gallup attributes to “systemic issues.”

Newspaper reporters don’t fare much better, as only 17% of Americans see them as being honest and ethical, compared to 43% who don’t.

As reported last October, 34% of Americans said they had absolutely no trust in the media, and another 29% said they had “not very much,” bringing total distrust to 63%. The last time that a majority of Americans voiced trust in the media was back in 2003, according to Gallup.

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