Experts say the growing amount of false information being spread by some politicians, social media and cable news is undermining trust in the mainstream media and damaging the nation's physical and political health. With Americans deeply divided over politics, the COVID-19 pandemic and racial injustice, trust in mass media fell to new lows in the last five years. The distrust was stoked by former President Donald Trump, who called reporters “the enemy of the people” and their work “fake news,” even as media fact-checkers counted more than 30,000 false or misleading claims Trump made during his term. Some analysts say the distrust also is exacerbated by the rise of highly partisan cable news networks, a largely unregulated social media landscape and the decline of local ...

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