Just 21% of adults say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in TV news, down from 27% last year — and the lowest percentage since Gallup started taking the poll in 1993 — the research firm says today. A whopping 46% of respondents gave a thumbs-up to TV news in 1993. It hovered in the mid-to-low 30% range until 2007, when it dropped to 23%. What’s striking about this year’s results, though, is that it’s the first time in years when conservatives hold TV news in slightly higher regard than do liberals and moderates. Just 19% of liberals said they have confidence in the medium, down from 30% last year, while moderates moved to 20% from 30%, and conservatives to 22% from 23%. Paradoxically, TV news won the highest scores from 18- to 29-year-olds (38% approval) and Democrats (37%), with the lowest scores coming from those 65 and older (18%) and Independents (20%). More than 1,000 people were questioned from June 7-10 for the annual poll measuring people’s confidence in 16 institutions. On Gallup’s list, people have the most confidence in the military (75%), small business (63%), and the police (56%). TV News ranked No. 11, right behind newspapers (25%). The bottom two were Congress (13%) and Health Maintenance Organizations (19%) while big business, banks, and organized labor were in a dead heat with TV news.

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