The front page of a newspaper with the headline “Fake News” which illustrates the current phenomena. Front section of newspaper is on top of loosely stacked remainder of newspaper. All visible text is authored by the photographer. Photographed in a studio setting on a white background with a slight wide angle lens.

The 2017 Poynter Media Trust Survey, finds nearly half of all Americans — 44 percent — believe media outlets fabricate negative stories, also known as”fake news” about President Donald J. Trump in an effort to make President Trump look bad.

Among that 44 percent, 24 percent say negative stories about Mr. Trump are made up “about half of the time”; Fourteen percent say “most of the time”; and 6 percent say “all of the time.” Seventy-seven percent of that group are Trump supporters, and 74 percent are Republicans.

The survey found that a substantial minority of Americans — 31 percent — believe the media are the “enemy of the people.” Among Trump supporters, that number is 63 percent. Worse, 25 percent of Americans — and 42 percent of Trump supporters — say the government should “be able to stop a news media outlet from publishing a story that government officials say is biased or inaccurate.”

Republican confidence in the media continued its decades-long decline and currently sits at 19 percent.

While Republicans and Trump supporters have an overwhelmingly negative view of the media, Democrats confidence in the press has improved since Trump’s election. Seventy-four percent of Democratic or Democrat-leaning respondents express “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in the news media. During the presidential race, Democratic confidence in the media sat at just over 50 percent — its lowest point in decades.

According to the survey, 49 percent of all Americans express “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in the press, nearly the same as the 50 percent who say they have “only some” or “hardly any” trust in the media. But despite the fact that confidence in the media is slightly up this year, 69 percent of Americans still say the media “tend to favor one side” in political coverage.

Republican confidence in the media continued its decades-long decline and currently sits at 19 percent.

The authors of the survey conclude the challenge for media outlets is to avoid being drawn into alignment with either of the parties. That’s a challenge the media has long since failed. I have referred to the main stream media as the biased media wing of the Democrats’ Party for years.

Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist at Dartmouth College and one of the authors of the Poynter Media Trust report on the survey, said increased trust in the media is a “double-edged sword” because it’s being driven mostly by partisan polarization:

We’ve seen these dynamics occur on issues with scientists, and their perception is being affiliated with the Democratic Party, and that really harms scientific credibility in the public debate. If journalists go down that the same road and become seen as part of the Democratic [Party] coalition, I think it’s very harmful to the ability of all you to do your jobs and to create this reasonably broad, shared consensus about the nature of reality that we’d like to hope is a mission of journalism.

The survey tracked participants’ visits to news sites and revealed that people consume news from a more diverse set of outlets than they report reading regularly, indicating concerns about filter bubbles may be overstated. Andrew Guess of Princeton University and one of the authors of the study seemed surprised by that:

Based on the news sources people visit, there seems to be a lot more overlap in the information they encounter than the echo chambers narrative would suggest. It’s possible that some of the trust differentials in our results are driven by people who see plenty of news from across the ideological spectrum, but simply don’t believe

Guess shouldn’t be surprised that people don’t believe what they think is biased and fake.

A total of 2,100 respondents from YouGov’s Pulse panel took part in the Wave 1 survey, which was fielded from Nov. 2–8, 2017, and 1,850 respondents completed the Wave 2 survey from Nov. 8–18, 2017 (an 88 percent retention rate).