A new Gallup poll uncovers a concerning trend: a record 39% of Americans have zero trust in mass media, highlighting a crisis of confidence that spans across political affiliations.

According to the survey, only 32% of Americans have a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the media’s news reporting. This decline is not limited to one political party; Democrats’ trust has dropped 12 points in the past year, narrowing the trust gap between Democrats and Republicans to its smallest since 2016.

This isn’t just a media crisis, either; it’s a societal one. When nearly four in 10 Americans have absolutely no faith in the institutions that are supposed to inform them, we’ve got a problem.

Let’s put this in perspective. In the 1970s, trust in media ranged from 68% to 72%. Fast forward to today and the word “crisis” does not sound like hyperbole. Importantly, this poll was conducted in September (before the Israel-Hamas war), so there’s no telling how different these numbers are now.

In a world where everyone loves to blanket themselves in the comfort of the information that they want to hear, is there any hope for “mass” media? Will our path toward super-automated, hyper-personalization ultimately end the need for middle-of-the-road “fair and balanced” reporting?