Americans' confidence in television news is at a new low by one percentage point, with 21% of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it. This marks a decline from 27% last year and from 46% when Gallup started tracking confidence in television news in 1993.Errors in coverage of the health care decision may have an impact.
It is not clear precisely why Americans soured so much on television news this year compared with last. Americans' negativity likely reflects the continuation of a broader trend that appeared to enjoy only a brief respite last year. Americans have grown more negative about the media in recent years, as they have about many other U.S. institutions and the direction of the country in general.
Still, confidence in television news could plummet further after the high-profile errors CNN and Fox News made in their coverage of the intensely anticipated Supreme Court healthcare law ruling that some have called a "Dewey defeats Truman" moment. CNN has promised an internal review, and its handling of the outcome of that review could help to bolster confidence. More broadly, these and other networks -- and the news media as a whole -- will have to renew their efforts to show Americans that they deserve a higher level of confidence than what they enjoy today.