According to a recent survey from Gallup, Americans’ confidence in television news has hit an all-time low. Only 21 percent of the people polled claimed to have either a great deal or a lot of confidence in the television news media, a number that has declined steadily from 46 percent in 1993. TV news ranked 11th out of 16 U.S. institutions tested, which included police, the church, the Supreme Court, banks and big business.

Newspapers also took a hit, with only 25 percent of those polled expressing confidence in that medium. That is the second lowest rating for newspapers since 1973 and a long drop from the 51 percent peak in 1979.

The confidence of liberals and moderates in television news was lower than conservatives for the first time since 2007. Liberals had the least confidence at 19 percent, while moderates and conservatives measured at 20 percent and 22 percent, respectively.

The implications are that Americans are feeling less confident in their sources of information, reflecting a general trend to viewing many U.S. institutions and the overall direction of the country in a less optimistic light. There is a lot of work to do to restore the confidence of the public and return the optimism that drives our economy.