Traditional news still towers over us like a colossus, but here comes Rogan

Kent Kroeger
8 min readJul 17, 2022

By Kent R. Kroeger (July 17, 2022)

The Colossus of Rhodes (Image source:

The following essay uses only open source data and is available — along with computer scripts used for data transformations and index constructions — on Github (here). As always, all errors remain mine.

“Americans’ confidence in newspapers and television news has plummeted to an all-time low, according to the latest annual Gallup survey of trust in U.S. institutions.”

This was the lead in a recent Axios article announcing Gallup’s results on Americans’ confidence in its institutions.

Americans do not trust their primary news sources. And why should they? Our main sources of news routinely (deliberately?) misrepresent reality. The mainstream media (MSM) is the “principle disseminator of fake news,” according to Tsfati et al. (2020), who conclude that “most people hear about fake news stories not from fake news websites but through their coverage in mainstream news outlets.”

According Gallup’s latest numbers, 16 percent of Americans have confidence in newspapers and only 11 percent have confidence in television news (see Figure 1).

Most Americans have little confidence in the news they receive from their primary news sources, and this confidence has been



Kent Kroeger

I am a survey and statistical consultant with over 30 -years experience measuring and analyzing public opinion (You can contact me at: