Trust in traditional media at record low as online sources rise ‘Trust Barometer’ reveals

Faith in traditional media has hit an all-time low in the era of fake news and growing social media influence, with a global trust barometer revealing the public’s largest ever drop in trust across the four key institutions of media, business, government and NGO’s.

Source: 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report

Source: 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report

The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer conducted by PR firm Edelman Intelligence found trust in traditional media at an all time low – falling five points on last year – since Edelman began tracking trust in 2012, with only 57% of people agreeing they trust the media.

Australia had one of the lowest levels of trust in the media industry dropping 10% from last year, leaving only 32% of people trusting the trade.

Ranking in equal third – behind Turkey, Ireland, Poland and Russia – for the most distrusting population in media, Australia had the fourth biggest year-on-year drop behind Argentina, Mexico and United Arab Emirates.

With trust in online sources rising and traditional media falling, at a global level 41% of people said they trusted social media for general news and information, while 64% deemed search engines a credible source of accurate news.

The research consisted of more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries, concluding six in 10 people believed search engines over humans.

Edelman Trust Barometer

Source: 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report

Distrust was at an all time high with the sample population putting personal views above facts, establishing that 53% of the participants do not listen to people or organisations they disagree with.

Edelman also revealed individuals are nearly four times more likely to ignore information supporting a position in which they do not believe.

Peers such as friends, neighbours and work colleagues became highly credible with “a person like yourself” becoming a trusted source for information with 60% of the sample population agreeing.

The research was conducted over one month and found two-thirds of countries surveyed are now “Distrusters”, having under 50% trust.


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