We in Canada look with some detached bemusement at the media gorging on the U.S. presidential campaign in the primary stage and can only wonder what it will be like come the fall.
But a newly released Harris Interactive poll has some interesting results on the trust relationship among Americans with various media in this pre-election phase.
American trust of media hasn't been high in a long time. Canadian trust is higher, which should either make us prouder of our media performance or cognizant of the fact we don't have the range (that is, low end) of the tabloid press that often drags down the overall numbers in the U.S.
But the Harris poll has some difficult numbers for television. It seems Americans trust online news more than television news at this stage.
Now, it's not where they're going to get their political news --- at least, not yet. They're going to local TV, then to cable news, then to local newspapers.
But, for a medium that often scores poorly in terms of trust, it's interesting that Harris found online trust strengthening at this critical time. And it's not online news from the conventional sources, either --- a fairly small core of the online trust was surfing the national newspapers and television outlets on the Web. No, it seems a new brigade of online sources is emerging.