Trust In Traditional Media Sinks Precipitously In April

Trust In Traditional Media Sinks Precipitously In April

The monthly TIPP traditional media trust index plummeted sharply while the alternative media trust index edged down in April. This article shows who trusts the media and who lacks trust.

Raghavan Mayur
Raghavan Mayur

The TIPP traditional media trust index dropped 3.9 points or 7.65%, from 51.0 in March to 47.1 in April.

The alternative media trust index edged down 1.1 points from 44.8 in March to 43.9 in April.

The traditional media index fell across the board in April, with 32 of the 36 demographic groups we track falling.

The alternative media fared slightly better, with 24 of the 36 groups falling in April.

The indexes range from 0 to 100.  Above 50 is the trust territory, and below 50 is lack of trust.  50 is neutral.

Fourteen groups trust the traditional media, and 11 groups trust the alternative media.

TechnoMetrica started tracking the media last month.

Relevance

Monthly tracking of trust in media will enable us to study its correlation with other aspects such as unity.

We also think that there is a significant erosion of trust in the media in recent years. We believe that alternative media may overtake the traditional media in the coming years.

Thirdly, we nurse a glimmer of hope that our data may spark a discourse that may lead to media behaviors that foster trust.

The Media Indexes

Responses to the question form the basis of the traditional media index:  Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the traditional or established news media (Example: Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, CBS News, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?

Responses to the question form the basis of the alternative media index:  Generally speaking, how much trust do you have in the alternative news media (Example: New York Post, Washington Times, NewsMax, The Daily Caller, RealClearPolitics, etc.) to report the news accurately and fairly?

Who Trusts The Media?

To answer this question, we took two-month averages for 29 selected demographic groups and plotted them.  The horizontal axis was the traditional media index, and the vertical axis was the alternative media index.

We formed four quadrants with axes drawn at 50.

Generally speaking, people either trust both media or distrust both media.

The third quadrant is the busiest.  Most lack trust in both traditional media and alternative media in this quadrant. We note that no group fell in quadrant 2.

Quadrant 1 (Trust Both Traditional And Alternative Media)

  • Age 25 to 44
  • Male
  • Black
  • Hispanic
  • Income 75K+
  • Democrats
  • Urban
  • College+

Quadrant 3 (Lack Trust In Both Traditional And Alternative Media)

  • Midwest
  • South
  • Age 45-64
  • Age 65+
  • Female
  • White
  • Under $30K
  • $30K-$50K
  • $50-$75K
  • Republicans
  • Ind./Other
  • Suburban
  • Rural
  • High School
  • Some College
  • Conservative
  • Moderate

Quadrant 4 (Trust Traditional Media And Lack Trust In Alternative Media)

  • Northeast
  • West
  • Age 18 to 24
  • Liberal
Trust (above 50) shaded in green. Lack of trust (below 50) in red.

Our data should serve as a wake-up call to both the traditional and alternative media. The media must work hard to gain credibility.

All media, traditional and alternative, must examine all facets of their coverage, including proper sourcing, presenting opposing viewpoints, and remaining objective.  Tall order?


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