A study finds that Americans don’t trust their television news. Executives at Current seen weeping.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

Well, who can you trust, then?

Gallup released a poll yesterday, and much to the delight (see: detriment) of television executives everywhere, the results weren’t good. Actually, the results were “Oh, my God, I can’t believe how not good these results are” not good. They were so not good, in fact, that it prompted an entire TV Without A TV post (because how else could we get that number beside “Studies” under the “Categories” heading to go up?).

From Gallup’s webiste …

“Americans’ confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993,”Lymari Morales wrote.

Ouch. What’s more troubling for them (but great for blowhards like me!)? Even newspapers rank higher than television! Who says print is dead?! From Politico …

“Of 16 U.S. institutions tested — including the police, the church, the Supreme Court, banks, and big business — newspapers ranked tenth, television news eleventh,” Dylan Byers wrote Tuesday.

Ah-ha! Take that, iEverything.

The reason for the decline? No one knows. Again, from Politico via Gallup…

“It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last,” the article continued. “Americans’ negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general.”

Don’t feel good about the country? Forget about voting, petitioning or showing up to influential public displays of protest. Simply turn off your televisions. Actually, wait. Turning off your televisions … in favor of turning on your computers would be a good thing. Or, at least so says the guy who runs a blog called TV Without A TV.

Hey, here’s an idea: Why doesn’t somebody begin a 24-hour news network without a political agenda? I mean, I know that sounds sort of crazy, but maybe then the masses can begin to trust television again? Or, of course, maybe they can also completely cut the cord and rely soley on newspapers for all of their world information. Or, at least so says the guy who went to college in order to have a career aimed at working in newspapers.

Finally, it should also be noted that these results were found before Fox News and CNN rimmed out a five-inch putt to win the Masters after both networks got the health care ruling wrong when it initially broke. Precisely one of those two networks eventually apologized for being wrong, and I’ll give you exactly three guesses as to which one of those two refused to acknowledge its error.

“The news media as a whole will have to renew their efforts to show Americans that they deserve a higher level of confidence than what they enjoy today,” the study concluded. In a related survey, 98 percent of adults ages 24 to 59 admitted to not even knowing that “Damages” has six episodes left before it goes dark. Oddly enough, the people behind “Damages” released a follow-up survey claiming that 100 percent of adults named Glen Close haven’t missed an episode.


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