Can the Media Rebuild Trust with America?

December 1, 2017  • Communications and Society Program

Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy participants

Trust in democratic institutions has steadily declined over the past few decades. Many American readers distrust the press more and more. During the 2016 presidential election, public discourse devolved into talk of “fake news,” “alternative facts,” and a dismissal of well-reported articles. In response, the Institute’s Communications and Society Program, in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, launched a special yearlong project on rebuilding trust in US institutions, particularly journalism. The Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy will ask: what caused this lack of trust, and how can the media rebuild it? The commission includes Institute CEO Walter Isaacson and Knight Foundation President Alberto Ibargüen, who will serve ex officio. The commission co-chairs are Anthony Marx, the president of the New York Public Library, and Jamie Woodson, the CEO of the State Collaborative on Reforming Education in Tennessee. A comprehensive report will be released in fall 2018.