Survey Shows Half of Americans Believe National News Organizations Intend to Deceive

( – A recent survey conducted by Gallup and the Knight Foundation showed that roughly half of Americans believe that national news organizations are trying to mislead, misinform or convince the public to take on certain points of view.

More than demonstrating a mistrust in mainstream media, the survey (conducted last summer on 5,593 Americans and released on Wednesday) shows that a lot of folks believe these organizations deliberately intend to deceive the public.

Those surveyed were asked if they agreed national news organizations do not intend to mislead. While 25% said they agreed the news is not trying to mislead, 50% disagreed with the statement. They were also asked if they agreed that such organizations “care about the best interests of their readers, viewers, and listeners.” 23% agreed while 52% answered that they did not.

A Gallup consultant said the results are “striking.” The study shows that there is an increasing distrust in national journalists, and an expectation they won’t tell the truth without an agenda, although the study also found that more Americans still trusted local news. John Sands, senior director for media and democracy for the Knight Foundation, said the survey shows Americans don’t believe national news organizations “care about the overall impact of their reporting” on society at large.

While one might think having instant access to news from smartphones would mean more Americans keep up with news than ever, the study also found this was not the case. 37% said they found such access made it easier to stay on top of the news, and 61% think that the information overload has actually made it more difficult to remain informed.

45% of respondents believe there isn’t much political bias in reporting, while 55% think the opposite. As shown in previous surveys, the study also found Republicans are less trusting of national news than Democrats, with an increase in mistrust specifically among independents over the last five years.

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