A Healthy Distrust of the Media

Story by Justin Bailey

A recent poll published by the Pew Research Center indicates that Americans, regardless of political affiliation, are becoming increasingly distrustful of the media.
When asked how they felt about accuracy and honesty in the media, several students at the University of Utah corroborated that cynicism while offering helpful tips on how to wade through the biased muck that can be prevalent in today’s news stories.
Garrett Hanson, a sophomore communication major who identified himself as a Republican, said that he thought, with regard to the major news media, “they all have an agenda.” He felt that their credibility was severely compromised by the fact that, to a certain extent, they simply report what they choose, in the manner they choose.
“They’re always taking things out of context to make the people they don’t like look bad,” stated Garrett.
Another student, Erin June, a senior studying political science, had a very similar opinion. “I feel like all the major news channels have bais,” she stated, “so it’s hard to tell who is telling the truth.” Erin went on to say that, in an effort to combat bias in the media, getting your news from online sources is a useful tactic. “That’s why you have to turn to the internet,” she said.
James Heiner, a junior and self-identified Democrat, had a less cynical view of how the news is reported, but still conceded that there is a definite bias. “I feel that they will inherently have a bias, but I take that into consideration when making decisions,” he stated. James followed that statement with something of a disclaimer, “They have good information because they have resources and are closer to the situation… I’m not (just going to) go ask somebody off the street (what’s going on in the world.)”