I&I/TIPP Poll: Americans’ Trust In Media Continues To Crumble

I&I/TIPP Poll: Americans’ Trust In Media Continues To Crumble

TIPP Media Trust indexes fell in September, highlighting the media's credibility crisis.

Terry Jones

Americans’ trust in the media declined in September to its second-lowest level ever, the latest I&I/TIPP Trust in Media index shows. It’s yet another sign that mainstream news outlets, websites, blogs and other online media providers are suffering a collapse in public credibility.

I&I/TIPP Trust in Media indexes for both traditional media and alternative media dropped.

The index for traditional media edged down from 44.8 in August to 43.7 in September. It was the second-lowest level since the index was created last March. Examples of traditional media would include the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR and CNN, among other major national news outlets.

The companion index for so-called alternative media also slipped, from 41.6 in August to 40.2 in September. Examples of these media include the New York Post, Washington Times, NewsMax, The Daily Caller, RealClearPolitics and other largely non-mainstream news sources, many primarily web-based.

TIPP Poll Resutls: Americans and their Media Trust Indexes

These data come from the I&I/TIPP poll, carried out monthly by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, I&I’s polling partner. The online poll of 1,305 adults was taken from Sept. 1 through Sept. 3, and is part of a broad new public opinion collaboration between Issues & Insights and TIPP. The margin of error is +/- 2.8 points.

If there’s one message that once again emerges loud and clear from the data, it is that America remains sharply divided about the job the mainstream media are doing. The numbers cleave neatly along political affiliation, Once again, political affiliation was the big divide for Americans.

Among Republicans and independents, responses for the mostly liberal-left traditional media show a high level of distrust. The index for Republicans stood at 23.5, the lowest ever and nearly 10 points below the initial level measured just last March. Independents actually gained some for the month, rising from August’s 33.8 reading to 36.3.

But both show a difference from the Democrats. For the Dems, the traditional media gauge rose to 65.7 for the month, nearly three times higher than the Republican index and almost twice the level of the independents.

TIPP Poll Results: Americans and Traditional Media Trust Index

The Alternative Media measure is a different story. Those largely conservative and centrist outlets enjoy more support from Republicans and independents than the Traditional Media. On a percentage basis, the Alternative Media Trust stood at 25% for both groups, and the “no trust” response garnered 68% for both.

In short, when it comes to media, Americans seem more divided than ever by their choice of information sources.

TIPP Poll Results: Americans and the Alternative Media Trust Index

Even so, what stands out most of all is the high level of absolute distrust shown by Americans toward their main media sources. Some 25% of all those responding to the poll said they had “no trust at all” in the Traditional Media complex.

That’s a significant number, one that suggests the media have abrogated their duty to keep bias out of their news feeds. For Democrats, only 6% said they have “no trust” in Traditional Media. But 23% total for members of that party said they had “little trust.”

TIPP Poll Results: Do Americans Trust in Traditional Media

One other troubling element lying behind the media’s dismal regard in the public eye: race.

White Americans are far less likely than Blacks and Hispanics to show trust in the media. While just 36% of Whites said they trusted the media, a whopping 58% said they didn’t. Meanwhile, 49% of Blacks and Hispanics, taken together, said they trusted the big media outlets, while 45% said they didn’t.

TIPP Poll Results: Americans and their Trust in Alternative Media

Disgruntlement with the media was a regional phenomenon, too. The Northeast (48%), Midwest (62%), South (55%) and West (47%) all showed significant distrust of the big media that feed us information daily.

Those looking for reasons behind this high level of distrust need look no further than recent news events that either were under-covered by the media or intentionally distorted. Examples abound.

In California, GOP gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder was smeared as the “black face of white supremacy” by the L.A. Times, an overtly racist commentary by the state’s most powerful newspaper, which largely served as a cheerleader for the dysfunctional state’s leaders during the recent recall campaign.

Meanwhile, national newspapers couldn’t be bothered to cover the blockbuster revelations about Hunter Biden’s apparent attempt to extort cash in his father’s name from Ukraine, China, and even, most recently, Libya.

“The Hunter Biden email cover-up may not be the most contemptible example of the modern political media’s corruption, but it is probably the most demonstrable,” wrote David Hasanyi in the New York Post.

Those who see an increasing unholy alliance between the Democratic Party and big media have some reason to be concerned: The recent “infrastructure” bill includes significant subsidies to new media, likely an unconstitutional breech of our nation’s traditional federal non-interference with First Amendment rights.

All in all, a glum picture of growing distrust for our nation’s media.

In the coming weeks and months, I&I/TIPP will continue to cull more data from polls on topics of interest to all Americans. TIPP has the distinction of being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.

Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights, with four decades of journalism experience including serving as the editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.


I&I/TIPP Poll: Biden Voters Abandon Him In Droves
Only 46% of those who voted in the November 2020 election said they would vote for Biden today, which is more than five percentage points lower than his official total of 51.3 percent in the 2020 presidential election.
CSP/TIPP Poll: Perils of Playing Politics With Afghanistan
Victoria Coates, a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy and a former deputy national-security adviser for Middle Eastern and North African Affairs in the Trump Administration, discusses the TIPP Poll findings on the topic of Afghanistan.

TIPP Takes

Two Maybe-Chancellors And Two Kingmakers

"Two maybe-chancellors and two kingmakers" - was one of the headlines summing up Sunday night's rather scrappy result, but that is what it looked like.

The Social Democrats, a center-left party, have narrowly defeated the party of outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Greens made history by receiving nearly 15% of the vote, despite falling far short of their goals.

2021 German election results

It was the closest race in years, putting an end to the two major parties' postwar dominance.

After 16 years in power, Chancellor Angela Merkel is not seeking re-election in Sunday’s federal election. But under the German constitution, Merkel will remain chancellor until a majority of Bundestag lawmakers elect a successor.

Possible coalition combinations in Germany

Erdogan: Turkey Could Buy More Russian S-400s Despite U.S. Warnings

Russian S-400's

Turkish president says Ankara is considering acquiring more of the Russian defense systems in defiance of U.S. objections.

In an interview with CBS News, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would independently make decisions on its defense systems.

Erdogan explained that Turkey was not given the option to buy American-made Patriot missiles, and the U.S. had not delivered F-35 stealth jets despite receiving a payment of $1.4bn.

NATO member Turkey was kicked out of the F-35 program, and its defense officials were sanctioned after it bought the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

Last year, the U.S. sanctioned Turkey for its purchase under a 2017 law to push back Russian influence. The move was the first time the law – called the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) – was used to penalize an American ally.

China's Xi Congratulates Taiwan Opposition's Newly Elected Leader

Eric Chu, the newly elected leader of Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party
Eric Chu, the newly elected leader of Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday sent a congratulatory message to Eric Chu, the newly elected leader of Taiwan's main opposition Nationalist Party.

The Kuomintang (KMT) has placed at the foundation of Taiwan-China ties the so-called 1992 Consensus, an unwritten agreement purportedly reached in 1992 between the KMT government and Beijing that there is only one China that each side can interpret that in their way.

According to Xinhua, in his reply to Xi, Chu called for enhanced exchanges across the strait, noting that the people on both sides are all Chinese.

In 2015, as chairman of the then ruling Nationalist Party, Chu held talks with Xi in Beijing.

Serbian Jets Fly Near Kosovo Border As Top U.S. Balkan Official Heads To Europe For Talks

Serbian Jet

Two Serbian warplanes flew close to a border crossing with its former province of Kosovo on September 26.

The tensions have boiled up into acts of violence with Kosovo on September 25 accusing Serbs of attacking two offices run by Kosovo's Interior Ministry, including setting one on fire.

Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti said both incidents were intentional, accusing Serbia of "encouraging and supporting" attacks on the state of Kosovo.

To stem to tide of rising tensions, the U.S. State Department announced it would send Gabriel Escobar, its top official overseeing the Western Balkans, to Brussels this week to participate in European Union-led talks between the two countries.

Kosovo's independence is recognized by 110 countries -- including the United States, Britain, and most Western states.


Sign in or become a tippinsights member to join the conversation.
Just enter your email below to get a log in link.