How Trustworthy Are The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal?

April 10, 2015

MY LOCAL Newspaper, The Arizona Republic is a complete progressive liberal rag!  Everything they print is garbage! –VC

Submitted by:  Veronica Coffin



(This is the fourth of four articles by Fred Gielow based on a recent Accuracy in Media survey.)

In prior articles, I compared AIM supporters’ views of the trustworthiness of selected radio personalities, major television networks, and popular Internet news websites. These were based on trustworthiness ratings supplied in a recent survey conducted by Accuracy on Media. This article covers the survey’s ratings for some major newspapers.

Survey participants rated several news sources on a scale of 1 to 10. A rating of 1 represented 0 percent trust. 10 represented 100 percent trust. A total of 988 surveys were tabulated. This was not a scientific survey; results should not be considered representative of a random cross-section of Americans.

Today, the trustworthiness of major U.S. newspapers is unimpressive. The New York Times has been published in New York City continuously since September 18, 1851. The paper’s motto has been “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” and has long been regarded as the national “newspaper of record,” but survey participants now rate its trustworthiness as low, just 2.12 out of 10.

The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is the most widely circulated newspaper published in Washington, D.C. Respected for many years, its trustworthiness has also been rated low, just 2.38 out of 10.

The LA Times has been published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008, and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country. Now, it is considered biased by many, and survey results show its trustworthiness rating is just 2.28 out of 10.

Here’s a summary of the newspapers rated within AIM’s survey:

NY Times Washington Post Washington Times LA Times Wall Street Journal “Your
988 988 988 988 988 988
a Rating
for this
452 394 396 349 500 638
2.12 2.83 5.56 2.28 6.36 4.99
12 16 91 11 86 69
280 198 112 217 71 146


Ratings for The Washington Times and The Wall Street Journal were significantly higher than the ratings for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and LA Times. Ratings for “Your local newspaper” were mixed. While there were some mid-range ratings, generally these local papers were rated either on the high side or low side, producing an overall average of almost 5.0 exactly.

The average rating for the Wall Street Journal (6.36) indicated a moderate degree of trustworthiness, but it doesn’t compare with the high average ratings for Fox News television (8.88), or Rush Limbaugh (9.13), or Sean Hannity (9.13). Wall Street Journal circulation numbers in 2013 were close to 2.4 million, including paid on-line subscriptions.

In 1991, the circulation of The New York Times was about 1.1 million. There have been ups and down in this newspaper’s circulation numbers, but in 2013 the number had increased to about 1.9 million, a dramatic rise of nearly 75 percent! More than half of the Times’ subscriptions are digital.

In 1998, the circulation for the Washington Post was about 730,000. In 2013, it had dropped to about 445,000, a nearly 40 percent decrease.

In 1990, the circulation of the LA Times was more than 1.2 million. By 2013, that had dropped more than 45 percent to about 654,000, a very disappointing performance.

Although many TV networks, Internet websites, and newspapers have lost the trust of millions of Americans, it’s hard to see how these news sources are striving to regain the public’s trust.


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