Trust in mainstream media on the decline: 'The news industry is in chaos'

In the wake of the latest controversial New York Times story, many are saying the mainstream media is in big trouble.

“The View” co-host Meghan McCain on Tuesday confronted a pair of New York Times reporters who blamed Gray Lady editors for botching a now-revised story accusing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

“You guys left out a key detail,” McCain said, referring to the paper leaving out the tidbit that the alleged victim doesn’t remember the incident. “I think this is sort of Ground Zero for why so many people mistrust the media.”

While McCain and other conservative pundits often use hyperbole to rip the mainstream media, she appears to be correct when it comes to people not trusting it.

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A recent Gallup poll surveyed the confidence adults had in newspapers and television news -- and the results were staggering.

According to the poll, 48 percent of people have either “very little” or no confidence in television news, compared to only 18 percent in 1993. Confidence in newspapers has also dipped, as 39 percent said they had “very little” or no confidence in newspapers in 2019 compared to only 17 percent as recently as 2003.

DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall told Fox News that “decline in trust of the media is troubling” because a functioning republic requires citizens who are informed and have sufficient, accurate news on which to base self-governance decisions.

“Today, the media has lost sight of its obligation and instead too often fills the news hole with sensational, poorly sourced and/or agenda-driven content," McCall said.

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"News consumers have enough sense to recognize these flaws and are responding as you would expect, by tuning out the news or, at least, being skeptical of the content they do read."

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“Some leaders in the news industry tend to blame Trump's media-bashing as the reason for this decline in media trust, but the trend has been ongoing for 15-20 years, well before Trump came down the escalator to begin his presidential campaign,” McCall added. “Nobody expects the media to be perfect or 100 percent accurate, but obvious and high-profile lapses in professional judgment, as we saw in the New York Times this week, remind the public that the news industry is in chaos.”

“Nobody expects the media to be perfect or 100 percent accurate, but obvious and high-profile lapses in professional judgement, like we saw in the New York Times this week, remind the public that the news industry is in chaos.”

— DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall

Fox News contributor Deroy Murdock feels the “Old Guard media have lost the trust of the American people because so many outlets have gone from reporting to Resistance.”

“They would rather grind President Trump's face in the dirt than simply tell people what he did or didn't do on any given day. If so much as a hair on his head is out of place, we hear about it nonstop,” Murdock told Fox News on Tuesday.

The Media Research Center tracks evening newscasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC and noticed a variety of pro-Trump and positive stories about conservatives that have been skipped. The Times’ Kavanaugh debacle was largely ignored once it was revised and Murdock thinks the issue is part of an on-going trend.

“Such professional irresponsibility confirms that the media have become largely an offshoot of the Democrat National Committee. Sad, but true."

— Deroy Murdock

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“If [Trump] tries to unify the country by addressing the Historically Black Colleges and Universities National Conference, with good news about his policies that help HBCUs, or welcomes the rabbi of the Poway Synagogue to the Rose Garden just days after it suffered a fatal anti-Semitic attack, the ABC, CBS, and NBC evening news programs spend literally zero time even mentioning such events in passing,” Murdock said. “Such professional irresponsibility confirms that the media have become largely an offshoot of the Democrat National Committee. Sad, but true."

McCall feels the “news industry needs to do some introspection and re-establish a commitment to serving the news needs of the nation,” but to accomplish that, executives will have to “clearly separate news from opinion and stop the senseless obsession with clicks and ratings.”