Demoralized Katy Tur wonders if media is doing ‘more harm than good’

MSNBC’s Katy Tur appears to be coming around to the idea that Americans who possess functioning brains have difficulty trusting the mainstream media.

In her role as a journalist, Tur wondered if she might be doing “more harm than good.”

“People don’t trust us,” Tur said in an interview with The Hill done in aid of promoting her new memoir.

“It’s something that I don’t have a concrete answer to, and that’s not because I don’t love journalism, I do, it’s just convergence of two issues,” Tur said.

“One of them being that we cover very dark stuff, in succession, and it seems like its getting darker and darker and it can be hard on your mental health,” she said, noting political divisions, frequent mass shootings along with other daily madness infecting the nation..

“It can be a bit demoralizing, and then on top of that, there was just a Gallup poll out today that shows that the trusts in media – newspapers and television – is hitting an all-time low,” she said.

According to that poll, only 16 percent of Americans said they have a “great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers in 2022, which is a 5 percent drop compared to the 2021 findings. To put that in perspective, it was the lowest number of confidence among those polled since Gallup started asking about newspapers in 1973 during the Nixon era and the Vietnam War.

A dismal 11 percent told Gallup they have a “great deal or quite a lot” of confidence in the industry, down from 16 percent in 2021, Fox News reported.

“People don’t trust us, they don’t believe us, and it makes me wonder if this job, as I am currently doing it, is effective, but if it’s doing more harm than good,” Tur said. “I don’t have a good answer for that, though, those thoughts linger in the back of my mind. They linger though because I do love it and I think it’s important and I’m hoping to find a way to better communicate with people.”

Last week, a Pew Research Center poll showed disconcerting results among journalists as well. Fifty-five percent of journalists surveyed “say that every side does not always deserve equal coverage in the news,” but 76 percent of Americans overall believe journalists “should always strive to give all sides equal coverage.”

“While some feel that equal coverage is always necessary to allow the public to be equally informed about multiple sides of an argument, those who disagree argue that people making false statements or unsupported conjectures do not warrant as much attention as those making factual statements with solid supporting evidence,” researchers at the center wrote.

Tur’s memoir, titled “Rough Draft,” chronicles her upbringing and eventual career in journalism. She explained that while she feels journalism should be balanced, she found it difficult to do so while former President Trump was in office.

“I guess, it felt like the moment was so scary and so dire, with Donald Trump in the presidency that they needed to seek comfort in somebody who they felt like was fighting the good fight,” she said of people who applauded her approach to covering Orange Man Bad.

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