There it was Thursday on the front page above the fold on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (NOTE: In time the following graphic may dissolve):
VOTERS SPLIT ON MEDIA
The headline insinuates that there’s some sort of 50-50 divide on how people view the news media.
Yet as I went through Gilbert’s story I saw no survey, poll, or any data to substantiate the misleading banner headline.
Did Gilbert interview folks with differing opinions? He sure did. But where’s the evidence to back up the headline? There is none.
But editors plastered that headline as a way to combat the perception that’s been thriving for years that the news media ranks lower than used car salesmen, Congress, attorneys, and quite possibly convicted felons. Funny how other studies/surveys about the public’s mood on the news media never made page 1 above the fold at the Journal Sentinel.
1) According to a report published by Gallup and the Knight Foundation that surveyed nearly 20,000 people, eighty-four percent of the people polled said that the news media has a “critical” or “very important” to our democracy.
But trust in the media is down. The report cites prior Gallup polling that indicates that in 2003, 54% of the respondents to a survey said they trusted the media. In 2017, that figure was down to 41%.
2) Another survey from January 2018 conducted by Gallup and supported by the Knight Journalism Foundation and other nonprofit organizations found that more Americans (43 percent) said they held a negative rather than a positive (33 percent) view of the news media.
3) The Poynter Institute last December found that almost half of Americans — 44 percent — indicate that they believe the news media fabricates stories about President Trump more than once in awhile, and a substantial minority also indicate that they agree with a claim that President Trump made that the media are an “enemy of the people” (31 percent) and “keep political leaders from doing their job” (31 percent).
the term “polarized” suggests an even divide, for every person on one side there’s another on the other side. Wishful thinking on the part of the mainstream media. The majority doesn’t trust you, doesn’t believe you, and can’t stand you.