The results of a survey on media consumption around the world show that the country where the level of trust between news providers and consumers is lowest is the U.S.
RT.com reported on 24 June on the study, Digital News Report 2021, conducted by Oxford University and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
The study’s subjects were approximately 2000 persons in each of 46 international markets. Overall, trust in the media has increased slightly from last year, from 38 percent to 44 percent. But in the U.S., only 29 percent agreed that “most news” can be trusted a majority of the time, while 44 percent strongly disagreed and 27 percent neither agreed nor disagreed.
Cable news networks like Fox News, CNN and MSNBC are seen as polarizing on political topics and thereby promoting distrust.
“Right” vs. “Left”
The survey also broke down U.S. respondents between those who identify as being “on the right” vs. those “on the left.” 75 percent of those “on the right” feel media coverage is biased against their views, while only 16 percent view the coverage as fair. For those “on the left”, only 34 percent see media bias against their views; 51 percent see the media as fair.
Post-Trump, Interest Declines
Those “on the right” also show a flagging level of interest in news consumption in general, especially since the last presidential election. In 2020, 74 percent said they were very interested in the news, but when President Trump left office, that number dropped to 57 percent.
The study found that interest in the news has been steadily declining in other countries as well, among them the U.K., Spain, Italy and Australia.
At the other end of the trust-in-media spectrum is Finland, where the study found that 65 percent of those surveyed claimed to trust the media; that represents an increase of 9 percent over the previous year.
TREND FORECAST: Trends Journal readers know this is nothing new. In our December 2016 article, “THE FOURTH ESTATE: RIP,” we reported on a Pew Research Center study released that year which found only 6 percent of people trusted the mainstream media, and our August 2020 article, “AMERICANS DO NOT TRUST THEIR MEDIA,” we cited a Gallup/Knight Foundation report that 86 percent of Americans saw significant bias in media political reporting.
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