Nearly 4 in 10 Americans Don’t Trust Mass Media

A new Gallup poll uncovers a concerning trend: a record 39% of Americans have zero trust in mass media, highlighting a crisis of confidence that spans across political affiliations.

According to the survey, only 32% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media’s news reporting. This decline is not limited to one political party; Democrats’ trust has dropped 12 points in the past year, narrowing the trust gap between Democrats and Republicans to its smallest since 2016.

This isn’t just a media crisis, either; it’s a societal one. When nearly four in 10 Americans have absolutely no faith in the institutions that are supposed to inform them, we’ve got a problem.

Let’s put this in perspective. In the 1970s, trust in media ranged from 68% to 72%. Fast forward to today and the word “crisis” does not sound like hyperbole. Importantly, this poll was conducted in September (before the Israel-Hamas war), so there’s no telling how different these numbers are now.

In a world where everyone loves to blanket themselves in the comfort of the information that they want to hear, is there any hope for “mass” media? Will our path toward super-automated, hyper-personalization ultimately end the need for middle-of-the-road “fair and balanced” reporting?

Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it. This work was created with the assistance of various AI models, including but not limited to: GPT-4, Bard, Claude, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, and others.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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