A major new Knight-Gallup survey of Americans shows citizens “believe that the media have an important role to play in our democracy — yet they don’t see that role being fulfilled.” The summary of the Knight Foundation report is worth reading.
Buried in the analysis about the ten main reasons for this is the astonishing finding that NPR and PBS are much less trusted by Americans than Fox News.
How could this possibly be? The answer is both simple and revealing: relatively few Americans rely on public media as their main source of news and information. The central theme of the Media Stewards Project articulated in this blog is that most citizens have scant awareness of how dominant commercial media are in the US, and how weak and marginal our public media sector is compared with nearly all other advanced democracies.
A related major theme of the MSP is that the US is at least three decades behind countries with robust public media systems in systematically teaching media education and critical media literacy in their public schools. There is both great irony and major lessons to be learned in these contextual realities related to the current low state of public trust in media. Critical media literacy is too rarely discussed on NPR and PBS, which in turn are main sources of news and information for too few American citizens.