Poll: Americans Have Highest Trust in Military, While Congress and Media Fall Last

April 7, 2017

The American people have less confidence in Congress and the media than any other U.S. institutions, while trust in the military ranks the highest, according to a Gallup poll.

The 2016 poll listed several "institutions in American society" and asked respondents "how much confidence you, yourself, have in each [institution]–a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?"

The list of institutions included categories such as the military, small business, police, organized religion, television news, newspapers, big business, and Congress.

The military and small business ranked the highest. Seventy-three percent of Americans said they either had quite a lot or a great deal of confidence in the military, and 68 percent of respondents had either quite a lot or a great deal of confidence in small business.

On the other end of the spectrum, Congress, television news, and newspapers fell to the bottom of the list.

Congress came in dead last with only 6 percent of Americans having significant confidence in the institution. This century, the highest confidence level Americans had in Congress was in 2004–at just 30 percent.

Newspapers had a 20 percent confidence level and television news had a 21 percent confidence level.

"Lack of trust in media is particularly prevalent among Republicans, with 86 percent of conservatives saying they no longer trust the media, which Gallup says is easily the lowest confidence level among Republicans in 20 years," Axios reported Friday.

Social media, especially Facebook, plays a big part in how Americans consume and perceive news.

"Facebook has become such a dominant part of news discovery and distribution that 10 percent of respondents for a Pew survey last month said they believed Facebook was the news source of articles they read on Facebook, not the news outlets themselves," Axio said.