Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

E. Scott Adler

Second Advisor

Carey Stapleton

Abstract

A large number of Americans no longer have confidence in the news medias ability to report the news accurately. With ongoing anti-media rhetoric and presence of "fake news" in the political climate, Americans remain divided on the topic of the media, and believe the news media is biased in their coverage of President Trump's administration. Historically, a free and open press is vital for healthy democracies around the world, and is well protected under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Negative views towards the press can have dire consequences with regards to the political scene. This research will look at the relationship between trust in the news media to report on the Trump administration and several independent variables like age, gender, ideology, and Trump approval. Using the 2017 Colorado Political Climate Study, I found a strong correlation with media distrust and Trump approval, along with conservatism and younger Coloradans. This research highlights the importance of media trust in a post-election "Information Age," and suggests beliefs about the news media is no longer a politically neutral topic, but instead a politically polarizing dilemma.

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