Young Americans Trust In Establishment Media Has Imploded Over The Last 20 Years

(Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Benny Johnson Columnist, Viral Politics
Font Size:

President Trump’s war against the media seems to be paying off in a key demographic: young Americans.

According to comprehensive new polling by Gallup, over the past 20 years, Americans aged 30 and younger have seen their faith in media crumble to historic lows.

The findings show that only 33 percent of Americans under 30 “trust” the establishment media. The downward trend is a historic low for young people and for good reason. This polling marks the first generation that grew up with robust establishment media alternatives.

According to the study, age is a major factor in how you perceive the media:

Trust in the mass media differs significantly by age, and in a way that runs counter to the groups’ typical party leanings: Older Americans are more likely to trust the media than younger Americans are. In the current survey, 53% of those aged 65 and older trust in the media, compared with just 33 percent of those under age 30. Younger adults have come of an age in an era marked by partisan media and fake news, while older Americans’ trust may have been established long ago in an era of widely read daily newspapers and trusted television news anchors.


The Gallup study goes on to detail how the drop in faith for media among young people is a recent phenomenon. Just a generation ago young people tracked similarly with adults for their trust in media.

The gap in trust by age is a relatively recent development. From 1997-2005, before today’s young adults reached adulthood, Americans aged 18-29 were just as trusting as older adults. But since 2007, young adults have been less trusting, although the average 10-point gap over that period between those aged 18 to 29 and those 65 and older is smaller than the 20-point gap seen in this year’s data.

The study ultimately found that 45 percent of Americans have a “great deal or fair amount of trust” in media to report news “fully, accurately and fairly.” America’s faith in media reached an all-time low of 32 percent in 2016, the year of the contentious election battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Another significant finding from the study reveals that Democrats’ faith in the media has reached a 20-year high. (RELATED: First Lady Makes A Little Girl’s Christmas Dream Come True)



“Democrats’ trust surged last year and is now at 76 percent, the highest in Gallup’s trend by party, based on available data since 1997,” according to the findings. As for Republicans, “just 21 percent trust the media.”