Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Does More Media Lead To Less Total Media Trust?

Posted by Tom Foremski - February 2, 2010

In my recent post about the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer, social media fared badly. But ALL media fared nearly as badly.

Why is that?

- Is it because we now have more media now than ever before, both social and traditional sources of media?

- Is it because more of any thing, devalues that thing? We have more media in more forms, at more times, than at anytime in our history. Is trust in media being lost because trust has become more diluted?

- Traditional media still leads as a source for social media. But traditional media is under pressure, with fewer resources. That means more mistakes, less time to check sources, resulting in a lower quality product. That can't be good for building trust in media.

- Is social media losing trust because of all the social media marketeers that seem to be the loudest voices in many streams?

That would make it seem as if social media can be manipulated, or used to an advantage by businesses. Which is exactly what the social media mavens are saying. A key finding of the Edelman Trust Barometer is that trust in businesses is fragile.

Therefore, is it business involvement in social media that is affecting people's trust in social and traditional media?

- Trust seems to be a volatile commodity. Our common belief is that trust takes time to build yet can be destroyed in minutes. So does that mean rebuilding trust across all media will now be a long hard slog?

The Edelman survey has raised some interesting questions.

Here's a recap of findings from the Edelman Trust Barometer:

- Trust in information from friends and peers, "people like me," dropped by 20 points, from 47 to 27 percent.

- Trust in information from digital media--blogs, social networks, and free content sources like Wikipedia or Google news, remains low: only between 11 percent and 22 percent of respondents express trust in information about companies from these sources.

- Trust in credibility of TV news declined by 20 points, from 44 to 24 percent.

- Trust in news coverage on the radio dropped by 17 points, from 48 to 31 percent.

- Trust in newspapers fell by 14 points, from 46 to 32 percent.

- Only 38 percent trust media (as an institution) to do what is right, down from 46 percent in 2008.


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Please see:

2010 Prediction: The Media Tsunami Is Coming...


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