As you can see in the chart above, a report released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford and the University of Oxford found that out of 46 nations surveyed the US public ranks last in its trust of the news media at 29%. The study surveyed 92,000 news consumers in those countries. Finland finished first with a trust rate of 65%.
I doubt that Finland’s journalists deserve that much more trust, which is one reason the report is good news for the United States. I think it is highly likely that the journalists everywhere else suffer from the same arrogance, relative lack of intellectual depth, and hive-mind leanings as U.S. journalists. I think that the U.S. public’s lack of trust shows growing and essential understanding of the true nature of what has become a corrupt and dangerous false profession that does not serve the interests of the people as it is pledged to according to journalistic ethics, but its own. Nor do I believe the U.S. has the worst and most unethical journalists in the world—far from it, I suspect. The U.S. has the journalists with the most freedom, making it especially easy to do their job as dishonestly as they do; yet unlike in many of those nations, their government isn’t forcing American journalists to substitute spin, distortion and propaganda for the truth.
The U.S. public has, finally, had its blinders ripped off, and is no longer under the delusion that they are being informed by altruistic and dedicated pros who only seek to reveal the facts necessary for us to live our lives as we choose to. Knowledge is power, and while our news media is wielding their control over knowledge to transfer power to their political allies, the public, at least most of it, has acquired crucial knowledge to neutralize it: the knowledge that that are not trustworthy.
Unfortunately, the bad news aspect of the study’s finding is arguably worse than the good news is encouraging. Democracy cannot function without a trustworthy news media, or as the Founders called it, “press.” Journalism rot is an existential threat.
The report’s executive summary contains some howlers that reveal either stunning naivete or, ironically, a lack of trustworthiness. For example, commenting on how the U.S. is seeing a trend in people rejecting mainstream media is the U.S., we read,
“Decline in interest in mainstream news remains a huge challenge at a time when societies are facing such a set of existential threats to health and prosperity. The challenge for media companies is how to re-engage that interest without dumbing down or resorting to sensationalism, which in turn can damage trust.
Oh, by all means, not sensationalism, like how the pandemic was weaponized to terrify the public into submitting to draconian restrictions on the lives, or how a riot at the Capitol by 300 idiots was painted as n “insurrection.” And certainly no “dumbing down,” when TV news pundits consist of such towering intellects as Chris Cuomo, Brian Stelter, Sean Hannity…
“Political divides fuel much of this mistrust in the United States, with those who self-identify on the right being more than twice as likely to distrust the news compared with those on the left. Resentment and anger are stoked by polarised TV networks such as right-leaning Fox News, One America News, and Newsmax and left-leaning CNN and MSNBC.”
No, you boobs, the reason conservatives are more likely to distrust the news is because the news panders to the Left, and its harder to objectively criticize those who distort facts to please you and serve your interests. Moreover, all the other major news networks other than Fox—that’s ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS—are “left-leaning” (just like Reuters.) MSNBC and CNN are just extreme about it.
“The growth of online and social media has encouraged news organisations and individuals that take more overtly partisan positions than in the past….All of this is putting new pressure on notions of impartiality and objectivity, which describe journalists’ attempts to represent all sides fairly and without biases.”
Oh, please! “Journalists’ attempts to represent all sides fairly and without biases” can only be described as “rare and weak.”
Zack Beauchamp, a “senior correspondent” at one of the most egregiously left-biased political websites, Vox, had a reaction on Twitter that verges on parody: “The partisan numbers suggest that anything unique about the US is explained by the right’s decades-old war on media.”
Glenn Greenwald comments,
“Any other industry failing like this would engage in self-critique, asking why. They never do…Like some kind of pathological narcissist, when you show corporate media stars these facts — you inspire more distrust than every media in **46 countries** surveyed — they will insist it’s the fault of those who distrust them: they’re dumb, manipulated, primitive, racist, etc.“
But at least they are fooling fewer and fewer Americans.