A new report
from the Pew Center for People and the Press suggests significant problems in public trust of the press in the United States. On nine of 12 negative indices studied since 1985, the survey of trust showed all-time marks.
That being said, the press remains more trusted as a source of information than are such other institutions as government and business.
The report found people trust their local sources of information more than they do national sources, and it suggested that the national perceptions were skewed by negative views about all-news cable television.
"Fully 66% say news stories often are inaccurate, 77% think that news organizations tend to favor one side, and 80% say news organizations are often influenced by powerful people and organizations," Pew said in summarizing the study
. "As recently as four years ago, 39% said news organizations mostly get the facts straight and 53% said stories are often inaccurate."
Then again, when asked about their own news sources, Americans were far more kind. Some 62 per cent said their sources were accurate and only 30 per cent said the stories were often inaccurate.
Among the other findings in the poll of 1,501 Americans in July: television remains the prime information source; nearly one-quarter now get news from social media; people want their press to be non-political; most believe news organizations have professional intentions; equal numbers say the press helps and hurts democracy; and most support its watchdog role.