Giving Compass' Take:
- Yuval Levin argues that the web and social media have turned the work of journalism into artifacts of self-expression for different groups of Americans and have increased bias.
- Trusted and trustworthy journalism is an essential component of a functioning democracy. How can we build trust in journalism?
- Read about building trust between journalism and Black Communities.
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In the middle decades of the 20th century, public confidence in journalism rose to extraordinary heights, along with a broader public confidence in America’s large institutions. In 1976, Gallup found that 72 percent of Americans had confidence in the news media.
Since that time, and again in line with the broader trend of public views about our nation’s institutions, trust in journalism has plummeted. Last year, Gallup found that roughly 32 percent of the public expressed trust in the press. At the same time, journalism, like some other key institutions, has gone through a deconsolidation, thanks to the rise of the internet and social media.
And by providing powerful independent platforms for dissemination, social media in particular have turned many journalists from participants in the work of institutions to managers of personal brands who carefully tend to their own public presence and presentation.
What to do? The first step is recognizing this crisis in trust in journalistic integrity. Journalists should turn away from chasing individual celebrity, which is the very opposite of the culture of institutional integrity. Instead, they should channel their work and their ambitions through institutional frameworks (old and new), and their reporting should take greater account of the character and work of institutions. This is a heavy responsibility, but it’s one that those committed to a thriving, free society, and to the place of a robust free press within it, ought to welcome and embrace.
Read the full article about social media and mistrust in journalism by Yuval Levin at Medium.