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Gallup poll: Americans’ confidence in newspapers at new low

Globe Gazette, owned by Lee Enterprises.  Who has confidence in this place?
Globe Gazette, owned by Lee Enterprises. Who has confidence in this place?

PRINCETON, N.J. – The newspaper industry is crumbling and Americans are taking notice, a new poll shows.

Gallup Polls reports that the percentage of Americans who express confidence in newspapers as a U.S. institution is an all-time low.  The percentage of Americans expressing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers – just 20% now – has been dwindling since 2000, and the percentage expressing “very little” or “none” – now at 36% and climbing – finally eclipsed it in 2007.

The days when more than twice as many Americans expressed high rather than low confidence in newspapers are long gone, Gallup says, although, 42% of Americans have “some” confidence in newspapers.

This is the first year that Democrats’ confidence is no longer net positive in newspapers, while Republicans have been negative since 2004.

The newspaper industry has been in a shambles for years now, under staggering debt and a crumbling business model.  Staff sizes in newsrooms have been slashed to a shadow of what they once were, and many newspapers now outsource their work overseas rather than hiring local.  Newspapers cling to an antiquated delivery of information – the print newspaper – which many times are out-dated or contain faulty information by the time it reaches readers.  The sheer cost of creating the product is crushing the bottom line of the newspaper business, leading it to cut corners on creative employees, editors and writers – the very people which once made newspapers interesting and trustworthy.

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