Over half of Americans can't tell fact from fiction in their media
The majority of Americans believe that their media outlets do not have the viewers' best interests at heart as citizens "do not know what to believe."
The US may be facing a shift in political life as more than half of United States citizens are unable to differentiate between their media's honest and dishonest news. Gallup and the Knight Foundation surveyed Americans in an attempt to get a better idea of how citizens view the press and the results were dismal.
In its annual report, the Foundation reported that those who hold a favorable opinion of the news media do not exceed 26%, raising questions.
Why do so many people distrust American media?
As working journalists seek to understand and address citizens' concerns, the report also found that 72% of American citizens do believe that their media have the ability to serve the public, however, most are not well-intentioned.
The average American deeply distrusts the government, with only 1 in 5 US citizens, or 20% of the population, trusting their government to do the right thing, a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center.
Read more: Only 1 in 5 Americans trust government to do right thing: Pew
"Americans remain deeply distrustful of and dissatisfied with their government," Pew said. "Just 20% say they trust the government in Washington to do the right thing just about always or most of the time."
With agendas in mind, especially when dealing with politicians and political parties announcing the news, it is natural that one party only intends to attack the other, with no regard to if the news is accurate or not. As such, only 23% of citizens believe that national newsrooms hold their audience's best interest at heart.
61% of respondents have reported that they do not possess the ability to distinguish good information from bad, which is alarming, yet not surprising. When people view the same piece of news presented differently in different media outlets, trust is bound to be fractured; Americans do not know what to believe.
“You can’t sacrifice the truth,” MSNBC President Rashida Jones
In an attempt to rebuild trust, MSNBC boss Rashida Jones expressed her concerns on the matter as she advocated delivering the truth to media audiences, declaring it the best path forward. “Rather than looking at a political culture or a political perspective, what we focus on is the truth,” Jones said
Jones added that even though the truth could not be pretty, it is still critical to report it the way it is from all angles.
The truth can be offensive at times, but should we mask it in an attempt to serve a specific agenda or political party? Parties tend to operate on a totally different media spectrum as they bash their opponents while ignoring fact-based journalism and promoting misinformation at a high rate.
It is as if the media cannot provide direct informative news without stopping to think about how it might affect or offend the public or a political party, eventually resorting to either plagiarizing or the partial or total twisting of the news.
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