News outlets can’t figure out why Americans don’t trust them

January 25, 2021

By Ella Carroll-Smith

A recent Edelman trust barometer released to Axios revealed that American trust in the news media has hit an all-time low of 27%. In the midst of a global pandemic, when citizens have relied on the media more than ever to bring them the facts, the media has failed to do that. Now 57% of Democrats and only 18% of Republicans have any faith in the media at all. 

To anyone who has been paying attention lately, the drop in trust probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. What’s particularly galling, however, is the fact that the media refuses to take any responsibility for how we got here. 




















Instead of digging into this important detail, Axios simply surmises that “[m]edia outlets can continue to report reliable facts, but that won’t turn the trend around on its own. What’s needed is for trusted institutions to visibly embrace the news media.”

So if we’re to believe Axios, whose stated mission is to “help restore trust in fact-based news” then the media has been doing a fine job in its reporting and the American people are the ones at fault here, not the outlets themselves. 

Here’s an alternate explanation: For years now, media outlets have been more interested in pushing their own partisan agendas than reporting the facts and the American people are sick and tired of it. 

Even Politico is beginning to see through its own bias enough to understand this, as noted by Jack Shafer in his recent piece: “How About a Little Sobriety Please?” 

In the column, Shafer says, “At a time when large portions of the country think mainstream media is a tool of the left, perhaps it’s time to tone down the Biden adulation.” 


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