Finally, some good news for journalists: after years of declining trust in the press, Americans are starting to trust the news media more, and most say they trust their local news sources. The findings come on the heels of the fatal shooting at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette and a nationwide editorial campaign defending the importance of a free press against President Trump's assertions that journalists are enemies of the people.
"The new Poynter Media Trust Survey found 76 percent of Americans across the political spectrum have 'a great deal' or 'a fair amount' of trust in their local television news, and 73 percent have confidence in local newspapers," Indira Lakshmanan and Rick Edmonds report for the Poynter Institute. "That contrasts with 55 percent trust in national network news, 59 percent in national newspapers and 47 percent in online-only news outlets."
Republicans especially tend to trust local news more than national news: 71 percent said they trust local TV news a great deal or a fair amount, but only 28 percent said they trust national network news. And 62 percent of Republicans trust their local newspapers, while just 29 percent trust national newspapers. Comparatively, 88 percent of Democrats say they trust local newspapers and the same percentage say they trust national newspapers. And slightly more Democrats say they trust local TV news than national TV news, at 81 and 88 percent, respectively.
"The high trust in local news observed in Poynter’s study is on par with the historical high-water mark of 72 percent trust in all news media recorded in 1976 by Gallup, which began asking the trust-in-news question four years earlier," Lakshmanan and Edmonds report. "Gallup previously recorded an all-time low of 32 percent trust in media in September 2016, at the height of an ugly presidential campaign, but measured an uptick to 41 percent trust last September."