Australians’ trust in media at an all time low finds Edelman’s ‘Trust Barometer’

Trust in media has continued to see a steady decline for Australia in the era of social media influence and fake news, with Edelman’s annual global Trust Barometer revealing Australia’s key institutions – media, business, government and NGO’s – are amongst the least trusted in the world.

According to the global report, only 31% of people trust the media, meaning Australia has the second lowest trust in media globally, finishing just in front of Turkey where only 30% trust the media.

The media is now the least trusted institution out of business, government, NGO’s and media, according to the survey.

The Edelman Trust Barometer is the public relations firm’s trust and credibility survey, sampling over 33,000 respondents across 28 countries.

Compared to last year, Australia has seen its trust in the media fall by 1%.

Image: The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report

While trust in media is at an all time low for Australia, journalism has seen a slight rebound in confidence with 17% of Australians trusting reporters over platforms.

Edelman has revealed trust in traditional media in Australia has grown and is now just below the global average of 62%. Last year trust in traditional media for Australia was at 46% compared to this year where 61% said they trusted traditional media.

Traditional media is not the only platform to grow in trust with online media spiking from 37% last year to 43% in 2018.

However, trust in Australian social media has fallen by 5% to 23% which is well below the global average of 40%.

Trust in owned media and search engines also saw a loss in this year’s results.

Meanwhile, fake news is still a concern with 67% of Australians worrying about fake news being used as a weapon while 35% believe the average person does not know how to tell good journalism apart from rumours.

“The Trust Barometer found 65 per cent of Australians are no longer sure of what is true, and in an ultra-low trust environment where people are unsure of what to believe, traditional media
organisations and journalists are enjoying a resurgence in credibility,” Steven Spurr, CEO Edelman Australia, said in a statement.


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