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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Star Tribune via Getty Images

The percentage of Republicans who say they trust national news organizations has been cut in half over the past five years, according to a new study from Pew Research Center.

Why it matters: The party's trust in media starting dropping when President Trump took office, but has plummeted much more dramatically in the Biden era.

Details: Prior to the Trump administration, both parties had a great deal of trust in the national media, according to Pew. But while Democrats' trust in the national, local and social media continues to hold steady, Republicans' trust in those same institutions has sharply declined.

  • Only 35% of Republicans today say that they trust national news organizations, compared to 70% in 2016.
  • Conservative trust in national news organizations has fallen by 14 percentage points since late 2019, compared to single-digit percentage point drops each year during the Trump era.
  • While Republicans tend to have a higher levels of trust in local outlets, they still trust local media far less than their Democratic counterparts.
  • Both parties have little trust in social media platforms, but about half as many Republicans say they trust the information they get from social media compared to Democrats.

Be smart: Pew's findings echo a similar long-term study from Gallup last year, which found that Democrats' trust in mass media had grown to a near-record high during the Trump era, while Republicans' sunk to an all-time low.

The big picture: The polarization of trust in the media presents one of the most clear and troubling signs for American democracy.

  • While the gap has been widening since the early 2000s, the major shift in Republicans' attitudes in the past five years points to increasing levels of partisanship and division in society.

Go deeper

Nathan Bedford Forrest statue removed

The statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest after it was splattered with pink paint in 2017. Photo: Mark Humphrey/AP

A controversial statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest on private land overlooking Interstate 65 was removed Tuesday after standing for more than two decades.

  • Local leaders were fiercely critical of the statue, which showed the Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader with a wild grin riding a horse.
  • It has been vandalized several times over the years. In 2017, it was doused with bright pink paint.

Right wing builds its own echo chamber

Expand chart
Data: Apptopia; Table: Axios Visuals

Conservatives are aggressively building their own apps, phones, cryptocurrencies and publishing houses in an attempt to circumvent what they see as an increasingly liberal internet and media ecosystem.

Why it matters: Many of these efforts couldn't exist without the backing of major corporate figures and billionaires who are eager to push back against things like "censorship" and "cancel culture."

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker