MSNBC anchor Katy Tur openly questioned recently whether she is doing "more harm than good" as a journalist.
What is the background?
Recent polling shows that American trust in media institutions has fallen to record lows.
According to Gallup, just 16% of American adults have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in newspapers. Only 11% said they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in TV news.
Interestingly, the poll found that Democrats are much more likely than Republicans or independents to place confidence in newspapers or TV news. Perhaps the deviation is related to the mainstream media's progressive bias.
What did Tur say?
Speaking in a recent interview about her new memoir, Tur explained why she considered quitting journalism when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
There were two factors driving her consideration. First, she cited the "demoralizing" nature of many stories covered by the mainstream press. Then she explained how the growing distrust of the media played into her consideration.
"It’s something that I don’t have a concrete answer to, and that’s not because I don’t love journalism, I do, it’s just convergence of two issues," Tur explained. "One of them being that we cover very dark stuff, in succession, and it seems like it's getting darker and darker and it can be hard on your mental health.
"Then on top of that, there was just a Gallup poll out today that shows that the trusts in media — newspapers and television — is hitting an all-time low," she continued.
"People don't trust us. They don't believe us," she added. "And it makes me wonder if this job — as I'm currently doing it — is effective? But if it's doing more harm than good."
Katy Tur In Conversation — The Hill www.youtube.com
Not only do most American adults not place confidence in the mainstream press, but another Gallup poll found last year that American trust in the media to accurately and fairly report the news has dropped to a near-record low.
Newspaper and TV news journalists are also seen as among the least-ethical professionals.