Restoring trust in the media – here's how

Learn more about William McKenzie.
William McKenzie
Senior Editorial Advisor
George W. Bush Institute

A new AP-NORC poll released this week shows that 45% of Americans don’t have faith that the media will report the news accurately and fairly. The poll presents a series of questions about what the media can do to restore trust in their work. 

Why it matters: Free societies require vibrant, diverse media sources to inform citizens and holds society and leaders accountable.   

A few recommendations  

  • A nationwide network of people is working in local communities to collaborate on solutions journalism. Media should report on the problems but also discuss solutions. What can be done to create affordable housing or solve the opioid epidemic, for example? By identifying and offering solutions, the media can help communities understand how they can best meet those challenges. 
  • In our discussion across the country about diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s important that news organizations also make it clear that moderates, conservatives, and liberals alike are all represented on their teams – not so their perspective should bleed into their stories, but so their views are heard by editors when they’re selecting stories and how to cover them. 
  • It’s also important that journalists adhere to the practice of being objective, being open-minded, and hearing from a variety of different sources. This has helped keep journalism an important part of our democracy for at least the last hundred years, and we need to continue that going forward. 

Bottom line: Media can always do better, which is why it’s our responsibility to consume a variety of news sources with diverse points of view.