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Feb 27

60 percent of Americans suspect journalists are paid by their sources; they may be right

A new survey by the Columbia Journalism Review in partnership with Reuters/Ipsos has found that the public’s trust in mainstream news media is lower than the public’s trust in any other institution, including even Congress.

“For decades, we’ve known that Americans don’t trust the press. What we haven’t known is how people view the makings of journalism, from the use of fact checkers and anonymous sources to the question of whether money skews journalistic decision-making. This new national poll for CJR answers those questions, and points to how big the trust gap remains.”

60 percent of respondents are under the impression that sources pay for stories. Their belief is supported by mountains of evidence that high-level mainstream reporters are secretly paid by government entities such as the CIA and FBI. Even those who are not paid are rewarded by government officials with scoops and leaks.

Congressional investigations and declassified documents have revealed that government agencies have secretly spent hundreds of millions of dollars on mainstream news reporters.

In practice, many government officials cultivate reporters who will report almost anything the government wants–whether true or false.

And since almost all mainstream journalists are Democrats who inherently look to expansive government as a benevolent source of warmth and comfort, their role as stenographers for the government may come easy.

Significantly, the new poll found that only a minority, 42 percent, of Democrats believe the media isn’t biased. (Just 10 percent of Republicans said the same.)