Media outrate politicians for trust

While critical of the press as a whole, Americans would rather turn on the tube to get their news rather than read about it in the printed press, a Washington Post survey shows.

If there is a hard-to-understand or controversial news situation, 46 percent of the 1,507 people surveyed said they trust television most to help them understand it. Seventeen percent trusted major newspapers most, 25 percent picked newsmagazines, 5 percent said radio, and 7 percent had no opinion.

Still, in the eyes and ears of the public, the media as whole have more credibility than members of Washington officialdom. Asked whom they believe when high government officials in Washington dispute a story, 58 percent of those surveyed picked the press, 17 percent were on the side of government, 6 percent said neither is truthful, and 20 percent were undecided or said it depends.

In some of the harshest criticism detected by the survey, 53 percent said they believe major news organizations often cover up stories and 59 percent agreed with a statement that reporters for major news outlets often give too much of their own opinions and not enough facts.

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