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Why 23% of Americans Don't Trust Traditional Media

by Jane Susskind, published

In the battle between online and traditional media, the Internet has repeatedly come out on top, with recent findings further indicating the erosion of Americans' confidence in traditional media.

According to Gallup, Americans' trust in newspapers fell to 23 percent this year, the second lowest percentage recorded by Gallup. Similarly, confidence in TV cable is reportedly low, with just 23 percent of Americans expressing confidence in it.

Increasingly shut out of the partisan rhetoric of the mainstream media, unaffiliated voters have been steadily losing trust in traditional media.

During one of the most negative presidential campaigns in history, just one in three independent voters had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust in the media. Furthermore, as reported in Pew's 2013 State of the News Media Report, independents are 34 percent more likely to have left a news outlet than Republican and Democrats, indicating their discontent in the current state of traditional media.

Given that independent voters are also the fastest growing voter block, the overall trend towards new media makes sense.

The limitations of print media, newspapers especially, have had drastic implications on revenues and staffing, with newspapers experiencing a 47 percent revenue drop between 2005 and 2009, and a 30 percent reduction in newsroom staff since 2000.

What traditional media lacks, digital media makes up for in speed, relevancy, and cost.

"We have reached a tipping point at which we can most efficiently and effectively reach our readers in all-digital format. This was not the case just two years ago. It will increasingly be the case in the years ahead,"  Newsweek founder Tina Brown wrote last year when explaining her decision to -- after 80 years of print -- adopt an all-digital platform.

Technology has undoubtedly changed the way we digest news, allowing us to browse keywords, bookmark valuable content, follow primary sources using social media, and even create the news.

To illustrate the ways in which technology has transformed the media, World Wide Learn has created the infographic below.

With confidence in traditional media plummeting, what's in store for the future of news?


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