Despite an ongoing controversy over “fake news,” more Americans this year (27%) say they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers than did so last year (20%). Although confidence in newspapers is up from last year’s record low, it remains lower than it typically was in the 1980s and 1990s.
Newspapers are one of 16 institutions Gallup tested in a June 7-11 poll. The jump of seven percentage points from 2016 is the largest one for any institution — though newspapers only tie for 11th overall on the list, based on Americans who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence.
From a long-range perspective, confidence in newspapers hasn’t been high at any point over the past 30 years; the highest was 39% in 1990. The 27% who express confidence this year is the highest recorded since 2011.
Democrats primarily are driving the overall increase in confidence in newspapers this year from last year’s all-time low. In 2016, 28% of Democrats had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in printed media, but that percentage rose to 46% this year. Sixteen percent of Republicans last year had confidence but, in contrast to Democrats, that has edged down to 13% this year.