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Trust in US media edges up from lows, Gallup poll shows

44 percent of Americans surveyed say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the mass media.

Human rights watch reporters press 09 19 13Enlarge
(MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Americans' trust in the news media has come up from an all-time low, but many still see the media as "too liberal."

A Gallup survey found 44 percent of those polled had a great deal or fair amount of trust and confidence in the mass media, up from 40 percent in 2012, the lowest reading since Gallup regularly began tracking the question in 1997.

Fifty percent said they had little or no confidence in news media, down from 60 percent a year earlier, Gallup said in the poll released Thursday.

"This year's bump in confidence comes mainly from independents and Republicans, after these groups' trust in the media dropped last year amid a heated presidential election race in which Mitt Romney supporters may have felt their candidate was being treated unfairly," Gallup said in a statement.

"Democrats' confidence, however, has been inching up since 2011."

Although up from the all-time low, confidence in the mass media remains lower than it was in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to Gallup.

The survey found 46 percent described the news media as too liberal, compared with 47 percent a year earlier. Just 13 percent called the news media too conservative, unchanged from 2012.

Thirty-seven percent portrayed the media as "just about right" in terms of political slant, from 36 percent a year ago.

"Perceptions of a liberal media bias are particularly strong among Republicans and conservatives, with 74 percent and 73 percent, respectively, saying the media are too liberal," Gallup said.

"However, half of independents also call it too liberal, while most Democrats call it 'just about right.'"

Gallup said the results come from a survey of 1,510 adults from Sept. 5 to 8, and have a margin of error or four percentage points.

A separate Gallup survey released in June said Americans' confidence in newspapers fell to 23 percent, just above the all-time low of 22 percent in 2007.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130920/trust-us-media-edges-lows