One-third of Americans say the news media is “the enemy of the people,” according to a new Hill-Harris X poll survey.
The poll, released Monday, found that the sentiment is strongest among Republican voters. According to the survey, 51 percent of Republicans polled said they thought of the press as “the enemy of the people” compared with 14 percent of Democrats and 35 percent of independents who said the same.
A majority of all respondents overall signaled support for the press, with 67 percent saying that the “news media is an important part of a democracy.”
Among those surveyed, respondents were most closely divided on the issue in rural areas. Forty-six percent of rural Americans said they believed the news media to be the “enemy of the people,” compared with 54 percent of those who said the news media is a crucial part of democracy.
The survey comes as American news media grapples with maintaining the public’s trust. According to Gallup, trust in the news media is the highest it has been since 2009, but still remains levels last seen in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
President Trump regularly derides news coverage he dislikes as “fake news,” using the label to demean the press at campaign rallies, but has also labeled specific news outlets the “enemy of the people.”
The Hill-Harris poll was conducted June 29-30, 2019 with a sample of 1,000 registered voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.