March 16, 2010
Contact:
Anna Christopher, NPR


   

AS TRUST IN GOVERNMENT CONTINUES SLIDE, NPR NEWS EXPLORES
CULTURE OF CYNICISM IN MULTIPART RADIO AND WEB SERIES

"TRUST" TO AIR ACROSS ALL PROGRAMS BEGINNING APRIL 18,
SERIES OVERVIEW AND INTERACTIVES AT NPR.ORG

SERIES COINCIDES WITH MAJOR PEW SURVEY ON GOVERNMENT DISTRUST, OUT APRIL 19

Skepticism of government is nothing new, but these days distrust of politicians and the policies they enact feels more like rigid cynicism. Beginning Sunday, April 18, NPR News embarks on the comprehensive multimedia series "Trust in Government" – exploring the history and biology of distrust, its underpinnings and its impact on policy, politics and governance. The series is being reported by correspondents from NPR's Washington, national, science and foreign desks, and will continue over the next two weeks across all NPR programs, with anchors in Morning Edition and All Things Considered. All reports will be archived at NPR.org, where there will be a series overview and analysis, and an interactive charting the public's evolution when it comes to government trust.

This series coincides with a major national survey on trust in government from the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, to be released on April 19. NPR participated in the development of the survey, and worked with Pew Research to understand how different voter groups feel about government. On Monday, Pew Research President Andrew Kohut will join Morning Edition to discuss the results of this latest poll, and what high levels of distrust indicate about the country's political climate.

In the first days of the series, NPR will explore the nature of distrust, with White House Correspondent Ari Shapiro asking whether skepticism is embedded in the American identity, and reporter Alix Spiegel taking a look at the building blocks of trust in the human psyche – and what not having it means for the nation’s well-being. Monday on All Things Considered, National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson reports on the wave of trust that helped elect President Barack Obama, and how his agenda has been slowed by widespread cynicism for government. Later reports will explore the root of historic levels of distrust of Congress and the media’s impact on Americans’ perceptions of politics and power. The series also examines the various levels of faith in government of different voter groups – senior citizens, immigrants, African Americans, young people and conservatives.

"Trust in Government" is part of NPR's extensive and innovative reporting on public affairs. Continuous political coverage from NPR is available online at the politics homepage of NPR.org, which features Ken Rudin's Political Junkie blog and the Watching Washington blog by Ron Elving.