Can Social Media Seize Control of Our Elections?
Americans don’t trust the media. In fact, studies show that we like, really, really, really don’t trust the media.
A new survey from the Media Insight Project, for examples, shows that just 6 percent of Americans “say they have great confidence in the press.”
Six percent! Just for some perspective, that’s about the same number of Americans who say they have trust in Congress, which is about 4 percent.
It’s up for debate whether that reflects worse on Congress or the media, but one thing is clear: The US public’s almost total distrust of the press isn’t going away anytime soon.
Public approval of the media has been declining for decades, and, according to some polls, has now reached record lows.
This shouldn’t be that surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention.
Thanks to the death of the Fairness Doctrine, the people who are supposed to report the news no longer have any obligation whatsoever to, you know, report the news. As a result, corporate media, especially corporate television media, has become almost completely indistinguishable from “infotainment.”
In many cases, it actually is infotainment.
Combine that with the fact that the press has gotten it very, very wrong on the biggest issues of our time — the Iraq War, for example — and it’s amazing that anyone trusts them to get any story straight.
So, if Americans don’t trust the traditional media, where are they getting their news?
Well, many of them, especially younger Americans, are getting it from the internet and social media.