AMERICANS MAKE THEIR JUDGMENTS – AT 9:20 A.M. ET: A new Gallup Poll tells us that Americans' view of the press has improved a bit in the past year, but has essentially gone from the sub-basement to the basement:
Americans are more confident in news presented by television and newspapers than they were last year. Unfortunately for the press, that confidence is still pretty low.
Twenty-eight percent of adults have a “great deal” of confidence in newspapers and 27 percent have “quite a lot” of confidence in television news, according to a Gallup poll. Those numbers are up 6 percentage points for newspapers and 4 points for TV since 2007, when Gallup found confidence in media at its lowest point in the past 20 years.
For comparison’s sake, 78 percent of Americans reported great trust in the military, while 12 percent felt the same about Congress, according to Gallup.
Newspapers enjoyed the largest trust bump from respondents aged 30-49, with a gain of 9 points in that age group compared to 2010. Echoing the march of technology away from printed news, people aged 18-29 reported less confidence in newspapers, with a drop of 10 points from 2010.
That same age group is where television news made large inroads, with an increase of 10 percentage points among those aged 18-29 over 2010. Respondents with a high school education or less also showed a confidence increase of 12 percentage points over the 2010 numbers. The only area where confidence in TV news didn’t improve was in college graduates; 16 percent reported great confidence in TV in 2011, while 21 percent did in 2010. That same age group also showed a slight drop in confidence of newspapers.
COMMENT: It has always amazed me that journalists show so little interest in public perception of their craft. I think it's pretty clear that the country is now onto press bias, and I suspect many Americans sense what is true, that many "journalists" are poorly prepared, do too little research, and are often inadequately educated.
Journalism is very hard work. The true journalists – the ones who consider the title "reporter" a badge of honor – work extremely hard, and the reader never knows what political side they're on. I knew some like that at The New York Times of old – the unsung heroes like Robert Alden and Peter Kihss. There are too few of their like today.
And why is it that, as the educational level of journalism has gone up, the quality has gone down? The same occurred in Hollywood. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
June 28, 2011