Americans are in a funk. It’s an old-fashioned word but it is probably as accurate a description as any of the mood of the people. The approval rating for just about every institution is down. The only difference is one of degree — small, large or HUGE.
The approval rating for President Joe Biden showed the most significant drop, but many in the news media have reported this. What is more surprising is that the approval rating for the Supreme Court is down significantly. That wouldn’t be surprising in light of its recent political decisions, but what is surprising is that this poll was taken BEFORE those decisions were announced. So it is probably much worse.
It is still better than my fellow journalists toiling at newspapers and in television operations. It is not much consolation… Actually, it is NO consolation that the news media approval rating is higher than the Congressional approval rating. That, however, is like saying ‘I’m not as ugly as you are.”
More to the point: What can be done about it. The too-often used “transparency” response isn’t enough. It may have some value, but as long as it is trotted out as the major response, it will be of no value.
More to the point, all the institutions need to reach out and connect to the American people — the news media in particular. That won’t be easy. As the survey shows, the trust is pervasive. Each segment of society will require a different response and that requires a better understanding of their needs, wants and desires.
In the end though, it comes down to one simple idea: Caring!