A recent Gallup survey shows that Americans’ confidence in news media continues to sink. In fact, the percentage of people who have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television news has hit an all-time low. News sources once deemed reliable now have the dubious distinction of being held in a similar regard as Congress.

Only 18 percent of the people polled claim to have much confidence in television news media, just one percent less than those who have the same degree of confidence in Internet news. Twenty years ago, almost twice as many people held a strong degree of confidence in TV news, more than newspapers. Today, newspapers rule over both web and television news outlets, with 22 percent of Americans stating that they have a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the medium.

While Gallup did not begin measuring confidence in Internet news media until late 1999, it has only slipped two points compared to the major slides experienced by TV and newspapers. Interestingly, conservatives have about 50 percent less confidence in newspaper reporting than liberals, but they have slightly more confidence in television news than liberals.

As Gallup notes, at least the media isn’t the least trusted institution in America – there’s always Congress. Only seven percent of Americans have trust in Congress, the lowest confidence rating ever measured by the Gallup organization.

It is obvious that the news media has some work to do to repair its reputation. Much of the lack of confidence may be a result of the polarization of public opinion, with both liberals and conservatives blaming the news media for biased coverage. It is high time that the news media returned to its duty of objective reporter the facts and leave politics and entertainment to other forms of media.