Gallup sounds the death knell for the news media. Disruption coming!

Summary: The latest Gallup poll about the public’s trust in the media has bad news about this key industry — and for America, which relies on this to make the Republic run. It’s another industry ripe for disruption. We can only guess if for the better or worse.

Watch an industry die: the long decline of American’s trust in news media.

Gallup's Trust in media survey - September 2016

Here is Gallup’s dirge for the news media: “Americans’ Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low“. Journalists write as if they are selling information and insights. But they are selling trust, and a only a shrinking minority of the public trusts their product.

The foundation of their industry erodes away a little more every year. Combine this with the massive excess in news services and journalists and the crushing of the middle class (subscriptions are among the first expenses to cut) — the result is (to use the current jargon) “disruption”. It will not be pretty.

Excuse: it’s just conservatives losing confidence in the media’s truth-telling!

Gallup's Trust in media poll - by party - Sept 2016

Unfortunately everybody is losing confidence in the news media. The decline in trust among Democrats and Republicans from their peaks was roughly similar until last year. Journalists’ treatment of campaign 2016 has hit Republicans hard (while liberals ask “Why Are The Media Objectively Pro-Trump?“).

The bad news for journalists…

Gallup's Trust in media - by age - Sept 2016

The drop in confidence has been large among the over-50s, but catastrophic among the 18-49. It points to a dark future for the news biz until it restructures into a few form. See


See the posts listed below for more about the crisis of journalism. What comes next? The easy forecast is a smaller industry, with more automation and fewer insights, relying more on plutocrats’ vanity and charity. We’ll have less information easily accessible for a general audience, getting more from entertaining but politicized and sensationalized sources.

Perhaps that’s inevitable. Citizens need news to make decisions about the Republic. Subjects need only entertainment. So perhaps whatever happens is for the best. Or not, for night is always coming.


For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts information & disinformation – new media & old, about journalism, about the news media, and especially these…

To learn more about the dying news media, and what comes next

Both of these are well worth reading. Here is the forward from Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Amusing Ourselves to Death
Available at Amazon.
Death and Life of American Journalism
Available at Amazon.

7 thoughts on “Gallup sounds the death knell for the news media. Disruption coming!”

      1. Pluto,

        Thanks for the complement! I consider much of what we do here to be journalism, broadly defined. We bring information from expert sources to the general public, and provide commentary on current events.

        But the core of reporting is putting people on the front lines of events == collecting, packaging, and distributing news. That I and a million like us cannot do. To get it Americans have to pay for it (advertising helps, but is not enough). Citizens will do so to get information. Peons seek only entertainment, and won’t.

    1. Bonsai,

      You raise a question about which I’ve wondered, but am too uncertain to write. Why (usually the most difficult question) do we trust the news media less? It’s quality has not declined (never high, given the constraints it works under). It’s objectivity has not declined (never very high, given human nature and demands of the audiences).

      Why are you watching (and presumably reading) less?

      1. Ok I have to admit I’m old, but back in “The Day” news was told in a seemingly straight forward manner by an authoritative figure (translate father-figure) who went to his local barber and chose his own tie (. . . .well at least that’s how it seemed). The sensational feel of today’s news is a barrage, an assault to the senses, and frankly it is not the way I want to start or end my corporate day.

      2. Bonsai,

        That was then, when citizens wanted information and insights. If you want that today, read the New York Times (the “grey lady”), WaPo, Boston Globe, WSJ, the London Times, Der Spiegel, etc.

        Today we have “consumers” (subjects, peons) who want entertainment. We have a free market system, so corporations provide what the audience wants. We have a new news media for a New America. Don’t blame companies for our weakness.

        [caption id="attachment_97825" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Fox News Journalist Patti Ann Browne on Fox’s “Red Eye”.[/caption]

        [caption id="attachment_91804" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Andrea Tantaros of Fox News. Andrea Tantaros of Fox News.[/caption]

        Fox News

  1. Pingback: La desconfianza en la prensa no está nada bien repartida |

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