Abstract and Keywords
Since the 1970s, trust in the news media went through a period of general decline and then a second period (since 2000) of polarization by party. Currently, trust in the media is low among those of all political affiliations, but it is substantially lower among Republicans than Democrats. Scholars have investigated a variety of plausible causes of this increasing distrust of the media, yet the largest source of this change seems to be increasing amounts of criticism of the institutional media from politicians and political pundits. This trend also has important consequences for how people acquire political information and make election decisions. Those who distrust the news media are more likely to consume information from partisan news outlets, and are more resistant to a fairly wide variety of media effects on public opinion. Because it can partially insulate one’s supporters from many types of media persuasion, partisan attacks on the news media have become an increasingly prominent political tactic.
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