Traditional media is no longer the most trusted source of news and information around the world, according to the latest annual Edelman Trust Barometer. The study surveyed 6,000 “informed publics” aged 25-64 across 27 markets, finding that online search engines are now the most trusted source of general news. Search also widened its lead over newspapers and TV as the first source for general information and the source used by most to confirm and validate news.
(“Informed publics” are college-educated respondents in the top 25% of household income per age group in each country. They report significant media consumption and engagement in business news and public policy.)
Informed publics were asked to rate their level of trust in various media sources when looking for general news and information. On a 9-point scale (where 9 represents the greatest amount of trust), 64% rated their trust in search engines a top-4 box score, with traditional media slightly behind at 62%. Only a minority (albeit an increasing one) trust social media (48%) and owned media (47%) for general news and information.
Overall, trust in the media as an institution declined a couple of points year-over-year to 51%. Indeed, respondents in only 12 of the 27 countries measured averaged a greater level of trust in the media than in the prior year. Moreover, 16 of the 27 countries (almost 60%) failed to record a majority of respondents trusting the media. One of those countries was the US, with just 43% rating their trust in the media a top-4 box, although that was a point higher than in last year’s study.
The annual study contains a host of intriguing data points, some of which are highlighted below.
About the Data: The online survey was carried out in 27 countries, among 33,000 respondents, with at least 1,000 adults surveyed per country. Among the informed public sample, there were 500 respondents in the US and China, and 200 in each other country.
Topics: Brand Loyalty & Purchase Habits, Brand Metrics, Financial Services, Media & Entertainment, Newspapers, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Technology, Traditional, TV Audiences & Consumption, Word of Mouth
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