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

edelmanFaith 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.

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.

peersDistrust 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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