Chattanooga Times Free Press Asks Conservatives Why They No Longer Trust Mainstream Media



Staff at The Chattanooga Times Free Press want conservatives to fill out a survey explaining why they no longer trust the mainstream media.

Chattanooga Times Free Press announced the survey this week. Editor Alison Gerber wrote that her newsroom is one of 30 across the United States to partner with The Trusting News project and The Center for Media Engagement at the University of Texas. Together they said they want “to better understand the dramatic erosion of trust in media among conservatives.”

“At The Times Free Press, feedback from people who consider themselves conservatives has increased in the past few years, especially as a contentious election and the COVID-19 health crisis unfolded. Much of the feedback is critical of national news stories published in The Times Free Press and our decisions to publish those stories (or not),” Gerber wrote.

“Research shows that people who lean right are much less likely to trust the work journalists produce. The gap in trust among conservatives is stunning.  While 73 percent of Democrats trust the media, only 10 percent of Republicans do, Gallup’s annual governance poll found.”

The survey, titled Conservative Voices, asks conservatives about their media use, what news outlets they frequent, and their perceptions of how well the mainstream media documents the right-of-center point of view. The survey also asks people to suggest how the news media can improve its performance as it continues to cover conservatives. Researchers may later interview respondents via Zoom, Skype, or telephone, the survey said.

“There are some risks you might experience from being in this study. The risks you may encounter is slight psychological discomfort from thinking about media coverage of political conservatives,” according to the survey.

“These risks will be no greater than you might experience in everyday life. There is also a slight risk of confidentiality because you will be providing your email address and phone number – if you participate in the interview – being audio and video recorded.”

Researchers said they plan to publish the results of the study.

The Center for Media Engagement, according to its website, accepts funding from, among others, Google, Facebook, The American Press Institute, and The Knight Foundation.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]








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24 Thoughts to “Chattanooga Times Free Press Asks Conservatives Why They No Longer Trust Mainstream Media”

  1. Woody White

    “Slight risk of confidentiality” = Prepare to be doxxed

  2. mark garoutte

    American media is a sycophant of the left and lap dog of the communist party. No four estate of government. No Clark Kent’s or Supermen, Just Joseph Goebbels, Liars , Cheats and Thieves.

  3. Scott

    The Arizona Daily Star (known for decades as the “Red Star”) did this same thing awhile back – they didn’t publish any of the feedback as far as I know, and of course nothing changed except they hired a “bias ombudsman” that people could complain to without her ever actually doing anything about it (her job also consisted of public events where she could deny that the paper was still heavily biased), and they also disabled comments on most of their stories to stop people from pointing out the lies and providing sources of actual facts.

  4. Biff

    “why they no longer trust the mainstream media.”
    I’d guess it’s the constant lying, about _everything_.

    1. bobdog

      That’s pretty much it. Lie to me once, shame on you. Lie to me constantly, shame on you.

  5. JaiSeli

    Pure “bull-schiff’/dissembling on sooo many levels. Upon seeing this, I would have immediately CANCELLED my subscription. Academics-gone-media pukes contributing zero to REAL productivity. PATHETIC/BARF

  6. William Delzell

    Ask leftists why they don’t trust the mainstream media than the conservatives do.

  7. Mike

    I went to Texas and live in Chattanooga after 33 years in Sacramento. I completed the survey and was able to overcome the mental anguish the questions brought on. Can’t wait for the Zoom call…I assume masks will be required so we all feel safe.

  8. David Scott Blackwell RN, BSN


  9. 83ragtop50

    If they have to ask then they are too far gone to understand what the term “objective journalism” means.

  10. Dixie Billingsley

    Let me give a recent example.
    The reporting of the Georgia voting bill. The mainstream media repeated only what the president said about it. They should have then gone on to state what the bill really does.
    Let’s have real news. This kind of thing is why we no longer get the paper or any magazines like news week. We now have to do our own research because the media only reports the part of the story that looks good for their party.

  11. Hi polloi boy

    Pick up a copy of the Arizona Republic to see why normals distrust the left wing propaganda democrat media complex

  12. t s Prite

    UM Because you lie, selectively edit or omit, and continually spew nonsense like global warming, white supremacy, and toxic masculinity …..and that is just for starters!

    1. Jay

      The Times Free Press is a rag. They republish hit pieces from the New York Slimes and anything AP puts out. Basically publishing opinion pieces as news. I canceled my subscription.

  13. Tom

    If they really wanted to know why, they could offer an actual CONSERVATIVE a column and have that writer publish columns countering typical leftist columns.
    But they will never do that because no liberal can ever win in a debate against even a mildly informed conservative.

  14. Charles wardaddy Byrd

    There was a time the Chattanooga Free Times was fairly conservative

    Anything comes from journalism Dept at university of Texas is beyond suspect

    1. Butch

      All public schools in Texas from K to 12 and all the higher learning instructions are run by globalists in Admin and the instructors are communists.

  15. Cp

    The fact that they are conducting a survey tells you everything. They don’t know that they are biased and manipulative. The assumption that people think like they do is frightening.

  16. stpaulchuck

    totally tone deaf

  17. Donna Locke

    Gee, “failure to adhere to any journalistic standards” would about sum it up.

  18. Anonymous

    Study ideological subversion to understand why anybody with commonsense shuns the media.

  19. Randy

    If you need to conduct a survey to determine the erosion of trust you lack any objectivity from the outset. Perhaps you are conducting a survey to determine how to manipulate those that see through your propaganda.

    1. Anonymous

      Very accurate