News outlets, print and television, have spent years eroding their brands with biased reporting. I’m not sure they care whether the public notices, but it has. From The Associated Press:
“Trust in the news media is being eroded by perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, fueled in part by Americans’ skepticism about what they read on social media. Just 6% of people say they have confidence in the media, putting the news industry about equal to Congress and well below the public’s view of other institutions. In this presidential campaign year, Democrats were more likely to trust the news media than Republicans or independents.”
The AP can’t even report on bias without showing more. Let’s parse that lead. Notice the phrase “perceptions of inaccuracy and bias.” At newspapers, stories about suburbanites being afraid to go downtown always use similar language. Never mind that everybody knows people who have been robbed at gunpoint by “the perception of crime.” My assistant’s car was once stolen and torched by that same “perception.”
Then note “skepticism about what they read on social media.” Everybody should be skeptical about stories reported mainly through social media. But the sentence seems to suggest that political partisans taking to Twitter is undermining the credibility of institutions such as Fox News. That’s a crock.
The poll was conducted by the Media Insight Progress, a partnership of The Associated-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute. The story went on to cite high-profile blunders and retractions such as Rolling Stone’s discredited story about a gang rape at the University of Virginia. It discreetly neglected to mention the incessant shilling for – and against – certain presidential candidates. As the campaign staggers to a conclusion and individuals’ positions harden, that might turn out to be the biggest eroder of trust.