One-Third of Americans Say They Have No Trust in News Media 'At All'

Americans' trust in the news media has dropped to the second-lowest number on record, with one-third of the public saying they have no trust "at all," according to a new Gallup poll.

When it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately and fairly, 29 percent of Americans reported having "not very much" trust in newspapers, television, and radio news while 34 percent said they have "none at all."

Furthermore, only 7 percent said they have "a great deal" and 29 percent said they have "a fair amount" of confidence in the media. The combined 36 percent is down four points from last year's poll and is just four points above the record low in 2016. The tracking began in 1972.

Between 1972 and 1976, 68 to 72 percent of the public had trust in the American media. By 1997, the number dropped to 53 percent.

Since then, Americans' trust in news reporting has averaged around 45 percent, according to Gallup. Confidence in the mass media has not risen above 50 percent since 2003.

One-third of Americans say they have no trust in news media "at all," according to a new Gallup poll. Pictured above is a "misinformation newsstand" in Manhattan on October 30, 2018, which aimed to educate readers about fake news in the lead-up to the midterms. ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Gallup reported that the "divisive presidential election campaign" between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton contributed to the 32 percent record low five years ago.

However, in the two years after the election, trust in the media grew by 13 points. Gallup attributed the growth to the Democrats' response to media scrutiny of the Trump administration, but the number began trending downward again in 2018 as everyone began losing confidence in news reporting.

Yet trust in the media differs significantly depending on an individual's political party.

According to Gallup, 68 percent of Democrats said they trust the media a fair or great deal. Among independent voters, the figure is 31 percent, and 11 percent of Republicans reported having the same level of trust. Between the two major parties, the range has been between 54 and 63 points since 2017.

Over the past year, Democrat and independent trust has changed by five points but Republicans have remained consistent. Since 1996, the GOP's confidence in fair reporting has not risen above 52 percent. In the new poll, 60 percent of Republicans reported having no trust at all in the media.

For Democrats, trust has not fallen below the 2016 reading of 51 percent, according to Gallup. Independents have not reached the majority level since 2003.

Just more than 1,000 adults living in the U.S. were interviewed for the study conducted between September 1 to 17. They were asked to rank how much trust and confidence they felt in the mass media to report the news fully and accurately ranging from no opinion and none at all, to a great deal.