Reporting in the “Post-Truth” Era: Uncovering The Research Behaviors of Journalism Students, Practitioners, and Faculty
American journalism is facing a crisis of public trust. In a 2018 Gallup poll on how much trust and confidence Americans have in the mass media when it comes to reporting the news fully, accurately, and fairly, 54% responded “not very much” or “none at all.” 1 This crisis is not unique to this moment. Veteran journalist James Fallows remarked over 20 years ago,“Americans have never been truly fond of their press…[they] believe that the news media have become too arrogant, cynical, scandal-minded, and destructive.” 2 Robinson goes so far as to remark that “popular culture casts journalists as villains.” 3 Indeed, just this year, Tumber and Zelizer, 4 as editors of the academic journal, Journalism: Theory, Practice and Criticism, devoted an entire issue to challenges facing journalism today, giving pointed attention to (dis) trust in what Lewis would later go on to describe as “an entirely unstable media moment.” 5; The current news media landscape has been substantially altered by recent technological, economic, and political conditions, forcing the reshaping of roles, routines, and revenue models for news media organizations. 6 In the midst of this reshaping the news media faces a persistent decline in authority and legitimacy, beleaguered by clickbait stories, political spectacle, viral misinformation, and regular attacks, both literal and figurative, on the press and the freedom of the press.