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Kommersant FM , Russia

Americans Are Viewing
Mass Media More
and More Negatively


By Anna Kazakova

Translated By Kate McCallum

11 July 2012

Edited by Jonathan Douglas


Russia - Kommersant FM - Original Article (Russian)

Americans do not trust TV news. The level of trust in broadcasts has fallen to an historic low. According to the findings of Gallup Institute, only 21 percent of viewers trust what they see. Kommersant FM personal correspondent in Washington Natalia Suvorova told host Anna Kazakova the details.


How nasty is this fall in the past few years?


It’s quite nasty. The fact is that even last year this number — the number of people who trust broadcast news — was around 27 percent and within just one year it fell 6 percent. That means now only 21 percent of Americans answered that they fully, or at least in a somewhat serious way, trust broadcasts. In principle, this is historically low and for the past 20 years these numbers have fallen by half. In 1993, when the Gallup organization started these surveys, 46 percent already held this opinion.


What explains this tendency?


Gallup does not explain with certainty what could cause this fall in the trust of mass media, but the company’s analysts wrote that this is part of an overall trend. The fact is that in the past few years Americans are becoming to feel more and more negatively about mass media. And fewer trust other authorities or political institutions. More people think mass media could be part of some shill plan. It’s possible, actually, that these low results are tied somehow to the election campaigns, since people’s trust in mass media falls during election campaign times because the antagonism between the two parties grows. And people think the news producers are shills.


Overall in Russia it’s black and white because the federal channels show one side and online writers write something completely different. In America it’s about the same, don’t you think?


It’s a little different in America. The fact is that this question has, for example, interesting particularities in part because of different ideologies.

In other words, for example, Democrats trust TV news more than Republicans. People who associate themselves with Democratic values are at 34 percent, against only 17 percent [of Republicans who trust the news].

The fact is that the U.S. has a completely different number of media outlets, although they are not associated with the federal administration. Nevertheless, the fact is that each one of them conceivably holds some kind of different outlook, so there are still more [that some trust] and [others] less. For example, Fox News is a station that most Republicans trust, as far as I understand. But there is an agreeably similar situation with many other big stations.



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