Fully 75 percent of Americans think news organizations generally don’t get the facts right, according to Pew Research. Two-thirds (66 percent) say stories are often inaccurate–a new high–and almost 75 percent believe that journalists try to cover up their mistakes.
Julia Moos discusses these statistics in her article, “Pew: 75 percent of Americans Say Press Can’t Get Their Facts Straight” (http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/147038/pew-75-of-americans-say-press-cant-get-their-facts-straight/
“Taken together, the findings indicate negative opinions about media are higher than ever,” Moos says.
But even given those dismal percentages, most Americans trust traditional media more than other sources of news.
What does this mean? We believe only a quarter of what we read or hear? If so, why do we repeat (and retweet) so much of this “fiction”? Why do so many bits of news have a greater life on sites like Twitter and Facebook than on traditional media channels?
To venture a guess, I think lots of us feel it is less important to be accurate than to be interesting. Being “interesting” is important (perhaps essential) for many online “communications.”
But being “interesting” (by itself) does not an informed populace make.