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How To Repair The Public’s Perception Of The Press

Amid a global pandemic and ahead of a consequential presidential election, America desperately needs quality journalism.

But the public’s trust in major American media outlets is dangerously low.

From the Knight Foundation and Gallup’s new survey:

For the 2020 American Views survey, Gallup and Knight polled more than 20,000 U.S. adults and found deepening pessimism and further partisan entrenchment about how the news media delivers on its democratic mandate for factual, trustworthy information. Many Americans feel the media’s critical role of informing and holding those in power accountable is compromised by increasing bias. As such, Americans have not only lost confidence in the ideal of an objective media, they believe news organizations actively support the partisan divide. At the same time, Americans have not lost sight of the value of news — strong majorities uphold the ideal that the news media is fundamental to a healthy democracy.

Meanwhile, following protests around the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by police, conversations sprung up about whether it’s even reasonable to expect reporters to remain objective and unbiased.

How did the relationship between journalism and the public deteriorate? And how can it be fixed?

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.

Michelle Harven