Trust in the Media

A Failure of a Linkage Institution?

The media is one of several critical linkage institutions that connect the American people to politics and government. Historically, the media has served as an agenda setter, watchdog, referee, scorekeeper, and gatekeeper. In digging for truth, the media has uncovered numerous scandals including the Watergate affair, prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay, and the misconduct surrounding American entry and behavior during the Vietnam War.

Gallup Polling, in late September 2019, released a new survey about trust in the media. Closely examine the graphs and the news story. Answer the questions that follow.

Questions for Completion.

1.  Describe the trajectory of trust in the media since 1997. In your opinion, what factors have caused this?

2.  In what ways do the parties differ in their trust of the media? What factors can explain this phenomenon?

3.  What ways, if any, can the traditional media, regain the trust of the American people?

Photo/Image: “Fake News Figure” by sjrankin via Creative Commons