The writer discusses findings from trend studies that indicate the decline in trust is also affecting trust in the media.
Democracy’s most basic currency is trust, and to judge by the usual indicators, we see, to be running out of it. Back in 1964, more than three-quarters of Americans said that they trusted the federal government; today, according to the Pew Research Center, only a quarter of Americans do.
In the 1970s, Gallup found that around seventy percent of people trusted the media; today around forty percent do. Even worst trust of media has become polarized among party lines. While three in four Democrats say that they trust the media; only one in ten Republicans would say so; as recently as 2000, the share among Republicans was one in two.
The Harvard political scientist Robert D. Putman, who did so much to focus attention on civic associations and social trust in his book “Bowling Alone,” from 2000, offers an alarming update in his latest book, “The Upswing,” written with Shaylyn Romney Garrett. According to her metrics, our “social capital,” that associational richness of American life, has been dropping steadily: “We have been experiencing declining economic equality, the deterioration of comprise in the public square, a fraying social fabric, and a descent into cultural narcissism” – four hoursemen stalking America.
Source: Kahloon, I. (2021, July 26). Believe You Me. The New Yorker.
Only Subscribers Of The New Yorker Can Read The Full Article.