This may be hard to believe, and if the media report on it, it absolutely won’t be believed–at least by 75% of the population. This new Pew report is similar to another study I saw recently which said only 28% of Americans trusted the media.
What is most remarkable, most distressing and sad, but also understandable is that most Americans now say that the media is hurting democracy more than protecting it. This is the first time in our history. Freedom of the press is one of our way of life’s greatest gifts to the world. History has made clear that protecting this right of free and open expression is the first requirement of a society if we are to protect ourselves against the natural growth and abuse of power by the powerful. But that freedom has turned in on itself, made a corruption of the entire idea.
Crisisblogger readers know I have been expressing my growing concern about the nature of media coverage and what it means for reputations, for public trust, and for our democracy. I think we can now officially declare this an emergency, a crisis even. When more Americans say that the way our news is reported is hurting us than protecting our democracy, you know we have a deep, deep problem. The problem with this crisis, like every other, is that we have come to think the only possible solutions are legislative ones. God help us when the politicians are going to solve the problem of public trust. The only institution with lower trust ratings than the media, is Congress.
This sounds like something that We the People have to work on.