You seem to be the only one who sees this change developing. Sure, on tech channels there's an understanding of the difference between "hacking away at some code" and "hacking a system", but the illiterati who are still replying to spam and downloading email attachments, hackers are just evil geeks. During the tech boom, there was a brief shining moment when this started to change, when the general populus saw that maybe techies could actually help make their lives better, a moment where intelligence was an asset, not a liability, but that moment has passed.
Say "hacker", and people think of Matthew Broderick. If you try to explain the misconception, their eyes just glaze over. The one victory I've ever had when trying to get the point across was by using an automotive metaphor. I was talking to a technophobe who loved working on his car. I compared his desire to explore the limits of what his car could do with a desire to max out your PC. Then, I asked about gearheads being a bunch of reckless drag racers. He went off on a rant about car clubs just being about enjoying cars, restoring them, tweaking them, customizing them, and seeing what you could do with them. Sure, there are people who are reckless drivers, but they're a small minority who give the rest a bad name, and besides, the media blows it all out of proportion. Then I smiled. And finally, he saw the light.
"What do I want? I'm an American. I want more."