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Media

Poll: News Media Are the Least Trusted Institutions in Handling the Coronavirus Crisis

(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

In a poll released yesterday, Gallup asked Americans whether they approve or disapprove of the way a number of U.S. leaders and institutions have responded to the coronavirus outbreak.

Every single group or individual listed in the poll had a higher approval than disapproval rating, save one: the news media. A mere 44 percent of respondents said they approve of the way media have handled the COVID-19 crisis, while 55 percent disapprove.

Contrast that with what the poll found public opinion was on President Trump: Sixty percent approve of his response, and 38 percent disapprove. Vice President Pence had even higher ratings, with 61 percent approval compared to 32 percent disapproval.

Several institutions included in the survey had extremely favorable ratings. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they approve of the job that hospitals in the U.S. are doing, for instance, and only 10 percent disapprove. More than 80 percent approve of the response from their state government, their employer, and their child’s school or day care.

Even Congress is above water with the American public, with 59 percent approval and 37 percent disapproval. Only the news media was under water, and that’s not terribly surprising.

It’s worth noting, though, that when Gallup posed the same questions to respondents broken down by party affiliation, it’s clear where much of the disapproval of the media is coming from: Sixty-one percent of Democrats said they approve of the media’s job, while just 25 percent of Republicans said the same.

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