A Gallup Poll released yesterday revealed that American confidence in televised news has dropped. No kidding. Thanks to the botched coverage of the Supreme Court health care ruling by CNN and Fox News this comes as no surprise. However, participants were polled before the June 28 ruling, from June 7-10, eliminating impact from the incorrect coverage. Of the participants polled, only 21 percent expressed “a great deal” of confidence in televised news. In 1993, confidence was at 46 percent, marking a huge decrease over the last 19 years.
“It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last. Americans’ negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general.”
In light of this information, what sources do Americans trust?
Pew Center researchers looked into this question back in 2010. A survey indicated that, at that point in time, 61 percent of Americans used online news outlets as their primary source of news, but local TV stations and national networks (CBS or cable TV stations such as CNN or Fox News) were more heavily used – 78 percent and 73 percent respectively. Since then, the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has reported that from 2010 to 2011 news websites audiences grew 17.2 percent, while televised news collectively saw only 6.5 percent growth.
In a day and age where anyone can write virtually anything on the internet, heavy dependence can result in a great deal of misunderstanding and misinformation. However, the internet might be the solution to the more-often-than-not biased and twisted coverage provided by televised news organizations.
See examples of biased and poor televised news coverage here: