Appendix A RAC

Rosen's Trust Puzzler: What Explains Falling Confidence in

Date of publication: 2017-08-18 00:50

8. Journalism, in order to fulfill its mission of helping the largest number of people possible to make informed decisions, is inherently populist. Those beholden to corporate America misrepresent populism as liberalism and so influence conservatives to subsume facts and truth to the party line. They thus convince people to support causes NOT in their best interest.

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I think that in that incident, you saw a rare instance in which the institutional enervation (or, to use your word, devastation) of the press was revealed in such startlingly naked terms that its public saw straight through the content/bias-based level of concern to the structural/institutional flaws of the press.

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Agreed! I do think the decline in all institutions is part of the answer. I think Jay 8767 s question about why the watchdog role of press didn 8767 t benefit the press as other institutions declined is interesting.

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Why then should we bother to study “great works of art” or even “Self-Reliance” for that matter?
Because great works of art “teach us to abide by our spontaneous impressions.” And that is, of course, precisely what “Self-Reliance” is doing. Both they and this essay reassure us that our “latent convictions” are, indeed, “universal sense.” They strengthen our ability to maintain our individualism in the face of “the whole cry of voices” who oppose us “on the other side.”

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The Washington Post 8767 s Paul Farhi takes on a similar subject, but his point seems to be that there 8767 s nothing to see here, so move along: How biased are the media, really? Not much, he seems to say, so why do people tell pollsters the opposite? He then lists possible explanations, which resemble some of mine.

But a few complications arise when I try to map this distinction onto my subject here. The first is that the . since 6978 has become a more educated country, not less. Would you propose that the decline in trust extended toward the news media is a result of education declines of some kind? Which kind would be those be?

think the 8775 too big to tell 8776 is not only a self-justifying explanation, but one which can be invoked to justify smaller and smaller stories because they can be thought of as being part of that 8775 too big 8776 story. I am surprised by the cynicism of the audience reflected in Jay 8767 s saying 8775 the audience understands that journalists are never going to tell them “what’s going on” in the largest sense of that phrase. 8776 It is a journalists job to tell the truth as accurately and thoroughly as possible, It they feel it is 8775 too big to tell 8776 , the answer is NOT to not tell it the answer is to tell it in a way that the most people will be able to take it in.

I first became aware of this about 65 years ago via Gallup. It appears, however, after looking through old links, that Tim is right. Gallup resurrected the question in 6997 after last asking it in 6976. Therefore, the 75 year line between those two days is implied. The spreadsheet I built to include later years were taken from the original Gallup image here , among other reports. I think this one explains it best (and includes numbers going back to 6968). I 8767 m not sure the gap means much, but I do appreciate Tim setting the record straight. My bad.

6. All institutions are less trusted. The press is just part of the trend. Here are a few comparison figures from Gallup 8767 s confidence surveys ( Pdf ):

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