Trust us?

Trust us?

: We hear how little the public trusts the press but a new poll ABC/Washington Post polls makes it look a little less dire:

In general, how much trust and confidence do you have in the news media — such as newspapers, newsmagazines, TV and radio news — when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly: a great deal, a fair amount, not very much, or none at all?”

Great deal: 11 percent; fair amount: 47, not very much: 29, none at all: 13, unsure: 1

“As you may know, journalists sometimes get information by agreeing not to identify their source by name in the story. In general, do you approve or disapprove of the use of anonymous sources in news stories?”

Approve: 53 percent, disapprove: 43, unsure: 4

They also say the press uses anonymous sources too often.

And this came out before the unmasking of the anonymous source of anonymous sources: The Deepster.

  • Mike

    So you’re are citing a poll conducted by the media showing their credibility isn’t that bad!
    With all the problems with polls and the problems with media bias, this one poll is enough for you?

  • Heather Green

    I find the whole anonymous source issue really interesting. I wonder if people are also aware that the use of anonymous sources apparently is dropping? And whether, if they knew that, it would change their outlook on them?
    This from a recent Wall Street Journal story on the issue:
    “Yet the use of anonymous sources may be waning. In a two-year study of 16 large and small U.S. newspapers, the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington, D.C., think tank, found that the number of articles using anonymous sources plunged to 7% in 2004 from 29% the year before. The 16 papers range from large-circulation dailies such as the New York Times and USA Today to the Bloomington, Ill., Pantagraph.”,,SB111627774525735013-itkCOrleG8VBs6jRPU_6haN2Wrc_20060517,00.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top

  • JRK

    Now that I’ve learned that Victor Navasky, owner of The Nation. is running the CJR, think the numbers must be inflated…on the positive side. As blogger David M reports today:
    “CJR executive editor Michael Hoyt said in a phone conversation today with this blog, “I think he [Navasky] should be on the masthead as soon as possible.”
    Commenting on Navasky’s organizational role, Hoyt said, “I answer to him.”

  • Speaking as a reporter who recently left the industry to become an educator, it’s been interesting to watch the fuss over anonymous sources.
    And yes,I used them and my bosses knew who they were.
    Here’s the part I find amusing, something I’m still fleshing out and
    will blog about eventually.
    But isn’t it funny how for the last two weeks all the media outlets
    were lashing out against the use of anonymous sources.
    The increased use of anonymous sources and more aggressive journalism
    came as a result of the Watergate reporting. Hell, there was even a
    huge jump in people going to j-school post-Watergate.
    So up until yesterday, the manta was: Anonymous sources bad. All the
    media agencies promised to use them less.
    And then the biggest anonymous source of them all – Deep Throat –
    announces his identity because his family wants him to be treated as
    the hero he is.
    And the story is being framed by the media, as usual, as a black or white issue. He’s either a hero or a villain. Of course the old guard GOPers say he’s a bad guy but most people are praising him.
    What I find conspiciously absent is anyone criticizing the Washington Post for using an anonymous source.
    Is this a case of 20/20? Or is it just easier to look fondly on the past than on current events?
    So what’s the new lesson?
    Anonymous sources are good as long as they are right? Or only good if
    they come out of the journalist closet 30 years after the fact?

  • AST

    53 percent is fine for a political race, but kind of tepid if you’re trying to sell a product.

  • rsmythe

    The most interesting aspect of this debate is that the demand for an end to the use of anonymous sources is coming mostly from the right, who think that the press uses anonymous sources to criticize the Bush administration without having to be accountable. But these same wingnuts never demand greater transparency and accountability from the Bush regime itself.