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Debra Soh is a sex neuroscientist, the author of The End of Gender and the host of The Dr. Debra Soh Podcast.

A recent Gallup poll found that only 36 per cent of U.S. adults trust legacy media to report the news fairly, accurately and fully. Another third of Americans said they have no trust in the mass media at all, a finding that was particularly pronounced among Republicans and political independents.

How did we get here? Many journalists have pointed the finger at former president Donald Trump for affixing the ”fake news” label to any coverage he didn’t like.

But the problem runs deeper than that. The majority of mainstream news outlets already leaned left prior to the 2016 election. Mr. Trump’s win encouraged an even sharper leftward turn as many journalists came to believe that democracy was under siege and they were leading a “resistance” against fascism.

Not only did the media intentionally deceive the public about Mr. Trump throughout his presidency, it became clear they had no interest in understanding the 63 million Americans who had voted for him.

Instead, journalists openly vented their contempt for them, clinging to narratives about how all Trump supporters were racist and sexist, even in the face of data showing that many were non-white and female.

As someone who abandoned the academic sciences to become a journalist because the university climate had become politically stifling, I’ve witnessed how the same problems have crept into my current profession. Like the academy, journalism has been captured by a segment of the population that has pledged an unwavering commitment to promoting social change instead of pursuing the truth.

It isn’t the job of reporters to impart lessons in morality. Despite an obsession with championing leftist ideals such as diversity, diversity of opinion is met with hostility and intolerance, regardless of the subject matter. This is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that U.S. media predominates in progressive cities and only 7 per cent of journalists identify as Republican.

Upon realizing the severity of media distrust, one could work toward repairing the damage by reconsidering the unhelpful strategy of infusing progressive opinion into every angle of objective reportage. Establishment media – evidently clueless to the role it played in getting us here – has instead gone the route of blaming Republicans.

The problem has been further amplified by Big Tech shutting down conservative platforms and censoring unwanted stories.

It’s not hard to imagine how a lack of journalistic impartiality would be off-putting. Even those of us who are politically liberal see this bias for what it is and have been labelled the enemy. In response to market demand, independent media sites have flourished, much to the relief of anyone seeking another way to view the world. This separation between the political left and right, however, will funnel society into two politically fractured silos.

The only way to restore the public’s faith in the news is to provide a balanced diet of perspectives. When we are exposed to ideas outside our bubble, it’s much harder to demonize the other side.

But this healthy interaction has been barred, and alternative perspectives are denied a seat at the table. If the mainstream landscape fails to make room for alternate views, this polarization will only worsen.

We see a similar trend emerging north of the border, with 52 per cent of Canadians saying they believe that most news organizations are more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than with informing the public. Forty-nine per cent agree that journalists and reporters are purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.

Nothing comes without a cost, and journalists should care that readers and viewers have grown skeptical of them. Those who think they’re winning the war thus far fail to realize it has only begun.

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