More than 67% of North Carolinians do not trust that the mass media reports the news fully, accurately, and fairly. That from a new Civitas poll conducted in November of a bipartisan pool of 600 likely voters.
That should come as no surprise as the nation watches the Kyle Rittenhouse trial in Wisconsin, the coverage of our nation’s southern border, and pundits discussing the Biden administration’s Build Back Better legislation, expected to drive up everything from child care costs to the national debt. Only the Wall Street Journal’s opinion page called it the “most dishonest bill in American history.”
So where do we turn? The eroding trust in our national institutions like education, government, and media has led people into their personal communities to develop their understanding of the news. We now bounce things off friends, our church small groups, and our colleagues, rather than trusting what is covered in large newspapers or cable news. Aggregating perspectives and information through our personal lens is not necessarily a bad thing. It has always been a part of the process for critical thinking. However, knowing where to get that information is vital.
That is why Carolina Journal is upfront. We do not hide our perspective that we report news from a free-market, liberty perspective. In these pages you will find information that you will not get elsewhere and opinion writers who have faced editing or rejection from left-leaning publications. In that same Civitas poll, which surveyed 195 Republicans, 231 Democrats, and 152 unaffiliated voters, only 22% thought the national news media is middle of the road. More than 49% thought the national news outlets were too liberal, 8% thought they were too conservative, and the rest reported being unsure.
Pundits on cable news media intentionally stoked anger during the riots last summer. It triggered a wave of realization and mistrust in the lockdown and masking orders as rioters and protesters proceeded to violate the emergency orders without intervention from authorities. Today, that mistrust continues and has reverberated through school board demonstrations, courtrooms, and ballot boxes.
The uncertainty of news and information, particularly in COVID, has undoubtedly contributed to the rise in anxiety, depression, and drug abuse over the last two years. Among teens, 56% report symptoms of anxiety or depression, up 30% over 2019. Trips to emergency rooms for depression have increased by 69%. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 100,000 Americans have died from drug overdoses in the last year, doubling since 2015.
I do see light at the end of this tunnel. More people are engaged in demanding quality education for their children. We appreciate the time spent with family, and we appreciate those business owners who are hustling to keep their shops and restaurants open, against all odds. More students are interested in studying mental health, and the ratings for some cable news channels have taken a nosedive as consumers switch them off. This year, Thanksgiving travel is expected to rival pre-pandemic levels, despite a 6.2% increase in the consumer price index.
Liberty, autonomy, and trust in our institutions are more important than ever, and people are starting to get that. Thank you for reading Carolina Journal and thank you for trusting us to provide you with coverage you need to build your toolbox of information.