Do you Trust the Media?

by | Dec 18, 2018


Big changes have occurred over the past few decades with respect to how we consume news. A generation ago we mainly received news from similar sources: the local and national nightly news, local and national newspapers and weekly or monthly periodicals. The rise of 24/7 cable news outlets, talk radio and the internet over the past 40 years has given rise to “choose your own news source.” This is leading to us being in our own feedback loops of news that is likely to conform to, or reinforce our views. We like to hear news that supports our views; hearing contrary views is painful.

Here is a fascinating chart from a Pew Research Center survey about trust in various media outlets by political leaning. Note that his survey is from 2014! Fascinating.


Note that according to Pew Survey the Wall Street Journal is the only media outlet more trusted than distrusted by all political persuasions.

How has trust in the media fared in the era of “Fake News” claims? The 2018 Poynter Media Trust Survey by researchers from University of Michigan, Princeton and University of Exeter reported that, surprisingly, “media trust remains slightly higher than before Trump took office but is dramatically polarized, especially among the most politically knowledgeable Americans.”


Over the past two years there has been a huge rebound in terms of American’s saying they have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust and confidence in the media, jumping to 54% in 2018, up dramatically from 32% in 2016. However, confidence in the media does vary widely by political party:


And trust in the media varies greatly depending on one’s support of President Trump:


Over the holidays, if you happen to get into a political discussion with a family member with differing political views you may be left wondering how on earth they can possibly have the views that they do. A big part of the reason they may have different views is that they consume totally different news and have a different level of trust of the media. What you consider “truth” they may consider “fake” and vice versa.

I’m going to avoid political discussions over the holidays! it will be hard! SAD!


  1. Hi- as a social studies teacher I would like to endorse as a source to easily identify media bias and to perform purposefully biased or bias neutral current events searches. They even base some of their criteria off of the PEW’s research on bias. It’s pretty cool! and it’s free btw, I don’t get any kickbacks (unlike John’s IFODs, where he makes a lot of money as a content provider for the corporations. At least that’s what I read in the user comment section on his fake news post)!

  2. Are you receiving royalties now for the IFOD publication? I’m not sure I trust your facts on which news outlets too trust? Ha

    • Good catch. I’m actually sponsored by Breitbart

  3. I don’t know about Fake News…but what about the UFOD?
    Not so widely known as Uninteresting Fact of the Day? My guess people love the IFOD wayyyy more than the UFOD!


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