The polling organization asks Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of 22 common professions. Journalists fell in the middle of the pack, with 24 percent giving a “high”/”very high” rating, 45 percent “average,” and 30 percent “low”/”very low.” Only 5 percent said “very high.”
Journalists ranked narrowly behind bankers, but ahead of business executives, various politicians, lawyers and salespeople. (The medical field dominates the most-trusted professions: nurses, pharamacists, doctors, dentists.)
The percentage of people giving journalists a high or very high rating is pretty steady from past years. It has been mostly within the margin of error of today’s 24 percent number (plus or minus 4 percentage points) since 1997 — as high as 29 percent in 2001 and low as 21 percent in 2000. Last year it was 26 percent.