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The trust people in the United States have in the media is the lowest in the free world and is likely driving more and more away from traditional news sources, according to a blockbuster study of international media consumption.
Of 29 free nations surveyed in the Digital News Report 2021, U.S. “trust” in the media ranked 46th of 46.
And cable TV is the worst, according to the report from Oxford University and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. The 164-page report said, “Cable news channels Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC have some of the highest levels of distrust.”
The study looked at major media-consuming nations around the world, although some such as China and Russia were not included.
The report noted that news consumption has slumped since former President Donald Trump left office and that all outlets are feeling economic pain, none more than print. The report said more than 30,000 industry jobs were “lost” in 2020.
Trump’s impact on news consumption and “interest” was a feature of the report’s U.S. sections. It noted that a 2016 “Trump bump” helped the media gain readers and viewers. But it also said that Trump’s exit from Washington had driven people away from news, especially right-leaning consumers apparently disinterested in President Joe Biden.
“While many remain very engaged, we find signs that others are turning away from the news media and in some cases avoiding news altogether. Interest in news has fallen sharply in the United States following the election of President Biden — especially with right-leaning groups,” the report said.
It added that just 55% of people said they are interested in news. And while in other countries the depressing coronavirus news was to blame, in the U.S., it was also due to Trump’s election loss.
The report said: “In some countries, lower interest may be as much to do with changed politics as the coronavirus crisis itself. Interest in the news in the United States has declined by 11 percentage points in the last year to just 55%. To some extent this is not surprising as our poll was conducted after the turbulent events on Capitol Hill in January and the departure of Donald Trump. But our data show signs that many former Trump supporters may be switching away from news altogether. Almost all of this fall in interest came from those on the political right.”
The study also blamed the focus on the 2020 summer of race riots that highlighted the lack of racial and political diversity in the news media and concerns that groups are not covered fairly by the mostly white and liberal media.
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Original Author: Paul Bedard
Original Location: US ‘trust’ in news is world’s lowest, Trump loss killed ‘interest’