Trust in TV News Media Continues its Steep Decline in the U.S.
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Trust in TV News Media Continues its Steep Decline in the U.S.

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Declining trust in TV News

The Briefing

  • In 1994, 35% of consumers had a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of trust in TV news
  • In 2020, only 18% feel the same way
  • Unsurprisingly, younger Americans are more skeptical than older Americans

Trust in TV News has Dropped Among U.S. Consumers

Americans are increasingly losing their trust in traditional institutions, particularly when it comes to TV news.

In 2020, a whopping 49% of U.S. consumers claim to have very little or no trust in TV news, compared to just 27% in 1994:

YearA lot of Trust (%)Some Trust (%)Very Little/ No Trust (%)
1994353727
1996363924
1998344025
2000364023
2002354321
2004304029
2006314028
2008244331
2010224136
2012213938
2014184239
2016213840
2018203445
2020183349

Why Is TV News Losing Credibility?

What’s causing this loss of trust? A recent report by Knight Foundation and Gallup surveyed 20,000 U.S. adults to find out. Based on the responses, the survey found that:

  • Too Much Bias
    A majority of Americans see “a great deal” of political bias in news coverage (46%).
  • A Hidden Agenda
    Americans believe news outlets have a hidden agenda, and inaccurate reporting is intentional — 52% believe reporters will misrepresent facts on purpose.
  • Younger Americans are More Skeptical
    43% of Americans aged 65+ have favorable views towards media, while only 20% of Americans under 30 years feel the same way.

Despite these hesitations, a majority of Americans still believe news is a critical part of a democratic society.

On this note, 82% see news as a tool that holds leaders accountable for their actions, and 88% feel the news is an essential way to keep Americans informed about public affairs.

So, it’s clear that the news, in theory, is valued. It’s just not meeting the expectations of Americans in practice.

» Interested in the news media landscape? You may enjoy this full article, Who Owns Your Favorite News Media Outlet?

Where does this data come from?

Source: Gallup Poll, “Confidence in Institutions
Note: Percentages in the table may not add up to 100% due to rounding, for clarity

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Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Using data from the UN, this chart shows civilian death toll figures resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Ukraine war death toll

The Briefing

  • In total, since the war began in February there have been over 7,031 Ukrainian civilian deaths
  • Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons, such as missiles and heavy artillery

Charted: The Ukraine War Civilian Death Toll

Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine has wrought suffering and death on a mass scale, with many Russian attacks targeted at civilians.

We’ve created this visual using data from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to better understand how many civilians have died in Ukraine as a result of the war, as well as how many were injured and how many were children.

The Numbers

As of early December, it is reported that 7,031 people in Ukraine have died because of the war — 433 of them children. Another 11,327 have been injured, 827 of which are children. In total, this is over 18,000 people killed or injured.

The figures are difficult to verify due to differing reports coming out of both Russia and Ukraine. The UN OHCHR anticipates that the numbers could be even higher.

The State of the Conflict

The war began on February 24th, 2022 and less than a year in, millions of people have been displaced by the conflict, and thousands of civilians have been injured or killed.

According to the UN, most of the civilian deaths have been caused by wide-ranging explosives such as heavy artillery shelling, missiles, and air strikes, and have been concentrated in Donetsk and Luhansk and in other territory still held by Ukraine.

Additionally, new estimates from Kyiv report approximately 13,000 Ukrainian military or soldier deaths, which has yet to be confirmed by the army.

Where does this data come from?

Source: The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights monthly reports on civilian deaths in Ukraine.

Note: Data on deaths and injuries can vary wildly depending on the source.

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