Americans’ confidence in their news media has grown in recent months, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released today.
Despite media being branded by President Trump as “the enemy of the American people” and derided as “fake news”, the percentage of adults who said they had a “great deal” or “some” confidence in the press rose to 48% in September. In November last year, that number was only 39%.
There was also a decrease in the percentage of those who said they had “hardly any” confidence in the press, down from 51% to 45% over the same period.
The poll found that the shift in trust was not purely partisan. Republican voter confidence in the media rose 3%, while Democrat voter confidence rose 11%.
Some publications, such as The NY Times, are reporting increased subscriptions since the Trump Presidency began.
While every President has had challenges dealing with media criticism, Trump’s administration has gone on the attack, treating media like an opposition party. By characterising unsupportive news reports as “fake news”, he has neutered criticism and provided his political base with a ready all-purpose rebuttal to naysayers.
Trump’s aggressive strategy may be faltering, however. The same poll found a general decrease in confidence in the Trump administration.
Further details of the poll, including analysis and commentary, are available from Reuters.