U.S. Media Ranks Last in World for Trust
Updated: May 13, 2022
Only 29% of people surveyed in the U.S. trust the news
The United States ranks the lowest in trust by consumers than 45 other countries worldwide.
This digital news report is released annually from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford. It’s important to note that the “trust” factor is from the country’s population, not comparisons between countries. In other words, the trust ratings for U.S. news media is measured by American responses, not Finnish. Accordingly, the high rankings for the media in the Netherlands is the result of Dutch respondents.
The findings are a definitive milepost showing the continued fracturing between the general population and institutional media outlets. Nothing recently indicates a dramatic turnaround in the decline of media credibility. If anything, the latest revelations and acknowledgement of truths in formerly dismissed “conspiracy theories” surrounding the Hunter Biden laptop scandal, the wiretapping of a political candidate’s offices, the Russian dossiers, and the viability of certain alternative treatments for COVID 19 symptoms have probably accelerated the distrust trend.
It's unknown what the effect on trust will be with the White House's formation of the Department of Homeland Security's new"Disinformation Governance Board".
Looking at the study’s ranking charts (seen below), every major country in eight different regions has media which is trusted by the country's inhabitants more than the United States.
Local news fared better than national news. But the findings for struggling print outlets weren't all positive.
The study shows that people aren't interested in paying for local news. Only 21% of people in the U.S. pay for news online. Of those 21%, the New York Times is likely the most used newspaper for subscribers identified in the survey followed by those who pay for The Washington Post and the next is people who subscribe to their local or regional paper.
The most popular local news topic is the weather. Other popular topics included education (16%) and politics (33%). People surveyed prefer local broadcasts as a source over local newspapers.
The study notes other major problems publishers face:
A significant number of people avoid news altogether because they don’t have time or the content depresses them.
Other constituents feel that the news media is “not concerned about them”. This includes younger readers and minorities.
And, good luck appealing to readers to help ameliorate any financial problems faced by falling subscribers. A majority of people (51%) are “not concerned” about the financial circumstances of the media.