24% of the public gives journalists 'high' ethics rating


Less than a quarter of the American public gives journalists high marks for honesty and ethics, according to the latest survey from Gallup.

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.

Earlier: 60 percent of Americans don't trust the mass media

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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