Rule: Every poll on Americans’ media attitudes has at least one good laugh line.
Over the summer, for instance, Gallup released a poll saying that people aged 18 through 29 — a vital demographic for any industry — lost 10 points of confidence in newspapers and gained 10 points of confidence in TV news. Problem was, the margin of error for those findings was +/-11 points, greater than the confidence swings themselves. So the “finding” could well have been meaningless.
Now we have the Pew poll. It has discovered that the press is “widely criticized” yet at the same time “trusted more than other institutions.”
A key finding, according to a release on the poll:
“Moreover, people rate the performance of the news organizations they rely on much more positively than they rate the performance of news organizations generally.”
So what you’re saying is that people trust the media outlets that they’ve chosen carefully over the years, as opposed to the media outlets that they’ve discarded? Pew reached out to 1,501 “adults nationwide” to reach that conclusion.