Sunday, November 1, 2009...8:47 pm

Most people don’t believe news is accurate

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I’ve only just come across this recent study from the Pew Research Center in the US, which finds that public confidence in the accuracy of the news media is at a two-decade low.

Apparently only 29% of Americans polled trusted news organisations to be accurate, while only 26% thought they were unbiased.

It’s also interesting to see that, although TV retains its dominance for news consumption (71% of respondents), more people said they got their news from the web (42%) than from newspapers (33%).

These figures are pretty shameful. Journalism has never really been the shining beacon of truth its boosters claim, but 55% of people in 1985 thought you could believe the news.

Of course, this doesn’t establish whether news stories are genuinely less accurate, or that people are simply more cynical. But either way, this is hardly a good result for the media when it is trying to pitch itself as vital to the foundations of democracy.

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