Street poll: Trust in media at all-time low

Trust in the news media is falling, with fewer than one-third of Australians saying they trust the media.

Mexicans, Canadians and Indonesians all have more trust in the media then Australians, according to an international study by the Edelman Group.

The Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that the trust Australians have in the media is at a record low of 31 percent, with only Turkey scoring lower at 30 percent.

It wasn’t all bad news however with the survey finding that trust in journalism was up 5 percent worldwide and that journalism was much more trusted then platforms such as social media and “influencers”.

In Australia fake news was a big cause in the falling trust of media in general which in turn led to a surge in trust for the more traditional news media outlets, which rose in trust from 46 percent in 2017 to 61 percent in 2018.

The findings were reflected in a Newsbytes poll in Sydney, where we asked people how much they trusted the media and finding out their habits of digesting news.

“(I trust the media) minimally,” said Zac Seidler, a psychologist working in Sydney who still reads a daily (physical) newspaper.

“I think over time its become more and more problematic, the amount of saturation that we’re reading makes it difficult to discern what is truth and what is just opinion,” Mr Seidler continued.

“(If I read it in a newspaper) I trust it a bit more because I know there are editors involved, whereas if I read it on Facebook or Buzzfeed… I’m not 100 percent sure of the validity of it.”

Susannah Smith echoed the results of the survey saying that while she didn’t trust the media as a whole, she did have more faith on what was reported by traditional news media.

“News media has to be a bit more rigorous in what they can publish,” Ms Smith said.

“Obviously they are liable for any … legal follow on that might happen, so I tend to trust them more.”

The Edelman survey found when they asked respondents to assume what was meant by the phrase “media in general”, 48 percent replied with the term “social”.

Tom Averill told Newsbytes that he thought the two were more indistinguishable then ever before.

“I think the lines between the two of them (traditional media vs social media) are much more blurred then they ever have been before,” said Mr Averill.

“Traditionally I would trust something more that I read in a newspaper then I would on social media.”

Leave A Comment

News by Email