The mainstream media isn’t trustworthy on its best day, and it would appear that the generation born and raised amid the most high-tech era of the information age is abandoning the old media in droves.
According to a new Gallup poll, there is a stark difference in trust for the media in age groups. The older generation still trusts the mainstream media as a majority, but just barely, at 53 percent. Meanwhile, the younger generation only trusts it as a minority at 33 percent:
Trust in the mass media differs significantly by age, and in a way that runs counter to the groups’ typical party leanings: Older Americans are more likely to trust the media than younger Americans are. In the current survey, 53% of those aged 65 and older trust in the media, compared with just 33 percent of those under age 30. Younger adults have come of an age in an era marked by partisan media and fake news, while older Americans’ trust may have been established long ago in an era of widely read daily newspapers and trusted television news anchors.
This isn’t an inherent bias on the part of the younger crowd, however. According to Gallup, the abandonment trend is a recent occurrence:
The gap in trust by age is a relatively recent development. From 1997-2005, before today’s young adults reached adulthood, Americans aged 18-29 were just as trusting as older adults. But since 2007, young adults have been less trusting, although the average 10-point gap over that period between those aged 18 to 29 and those 65 and older is smaller than the 20-point gap seen in this year’s data.
It’s safe to say that the trust in the media waxes and wanes based on its actions in the political realm. The media’s bias became undeniably apparent during the age of former President Barack Obama, when it appeared he could do absolutely nothing wrong. This affected the trust of conservatives and those on the right. During the 2016 elections, however, that bias became even more explicit, and the mainstream media found itself losing trust in the overall population with the exception of Democrats, who were all too happy to have their biases confirmed.
Regardless, overall polls consistently showed that the U.S. populace trusted people like President Donald Trump more than they did the mainstream media reporting on him.
The change was bound to happen at some point, however. For a while, the mainstream media was having a monologue about the events. Suddenly, with the creation of the internet and the rise of citizen journalism, news reporting became a dialogue. Lies and misinformation are now called out, and very publicly.
The mainstream media still hasn’t caught up to this, and with the capability of the youth now being able to sift through the nonsense to reach the facts at the speed of thought, the mainstream media is quickly becoming outdated and inefficient.