Traditional media and online search engines are the most trusted general news information sources around the world, trusted by 58% of respondents to the “2013 Edelman Trust Barometer.” But trust is certainly not homogeneous, differing by age and country. For example, among 18-29-year-olds, search engines have the edge (61% vs. 59%), while traditional media gets the vote from the 65+ crowd (54% vs. 49%). Among all age groups, traditional media and online search engines are more trusted than hybrid media, social media, and owned media. Interestingly, younger respondents are generally more trusting of all media sources than their older counterparts.
The study shows significant differences when sorting by emerging and developed markets. While traditional media and search engines are tied in the overall vote, emerging market respondents are more trusting of search engines (71% vs. 65%), while in developed markets traditional media is more trusted (51% vs. 47%). Notably, all media types are trusted by a majority of emerging market respondents, while developed market respondents are more skeptical, with traditional media the only type to just break the majority threshold of trust, at 51%. In fact, emerging market respondents are 75% more likely to trust hybrid media for general news information (56% vs. 32%), 73% more likely to trust owned media (52% vs. 30%), and more than twice as likely to trust social media (58% vs. 28%).
Developed market respondents’ low trust in social media when compared with traditional media (26% vs. 51%) aligns with earlier research from Allstate. In those survey results, Americans’ trust in public TV and radio (75%) and newspapers (71%) as information sources outstripped their trust in social media (30%) by a large margin.
About the Data: The Edelman Berland data is based on a survey of 26,000 general population respondents aged 18+ across 26 countries. When making comparisons between emerging and developed markets, the study examined the US, UK, France, Germany and Japan for the developed bucket, and Brazil, Mexico, Russia, India, and China for the emerging category.