In the months since the beginning of the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, Americans’ trust in medical workers has increased nearly 50%. Their trust in the media, though, has taken a nosedive.
David Martosko, former U.S. political editor for DailyMail.com, shared the recently released Axios/Harris Poll analysis, asking, “Can anyone honestly doubt journalism has lost its way?”
The survey, which gauged the reputations of the most visible brands in the country, was conducted between the fall of 2019 and the summer of 2020. Harris Poll conducted four rounds of nominations — Nov. 4-6, 2019; Nov. 12-14, 2019; Dec. 5-9, 2019; and June 11-15, 2020 — totaling 8,392 respondents. The ratings portion of the poll was conducted between June 24, 2020, to July 6, 2020, totaling 34,026 respondents “who are very or somewhat familiar” with the companies listed.
Americans’ trust in the fourth estate is constantly in flux.
A Morning Consult survey released in April shows Americans’ views of the news media — largely driven by Republicans — has sharply declined since President Donald Trump took office in 2016. Since his inauguration, Trump has frequently bashed the press for spreading “fake news” intentionally damaging to conservative ideals.
The share of U.S. adults who find major American news sources to be credible has consistently turned downward. In 2016, for example, 60.6% found news media credible. That number dropped to 51.2% by April 2020.
Republicans have become, on average, 16 percentage points less likely to view major American media outlets as reliable. In 2016, a majority of GOPers — 56% — said outlets like NBC and NPR were credible. Only 40% said the same in April.
Overall, Americans don’t seem to have a whole lot of faith in cable news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thirty-four percent of all voters surveyed said Fox News’ COVID-19 reporting was “excellent” or “good.” Thirty-three percent said the same about CNN and 29% of MSNBC.