A recent Gallup poll shows that Americansí confidence in mass media continues to decline. The latest poll, taken in early September, shows that our confidence in the media to report news accurately and fairly has returned to an all-time low. Only 40 percent of Americans have a great deal or fair amount of confidence, matching the lowest rate ever recorded in 2012.

Democrats, who usually have a greater amount of trust in mass media, have seen trust decline to a 14-year low according to the poll. This may correspond to an uptick in the opinion that news media are too conservative, with that percentage jumping from 13 percent last year to 19 percent in September.

As the mainstream news media loses audience confidence, people seem to be veering more towards news sources that better match their world view. For example, conservatives may tune into Fox News, while liberals might choose MSNBC. Moderates seem to feel that the media is just about right in terms of how coverage is handled and may make up the majority of mainstream viewers.

With less than half of the country believing that the news is fairly reported, the credibility factor from getting press loses some of its luster. When choosing a PR strategy, executives may wish to analyze the media outlets they are targeting and take each outletís audience into account now more than ever.