Edelman Australia 2022 Barometer reports trust in media falls

Edelman Australia

• Media is one of the most distrusted industries in the country according to the report

Trust in national media has fallen dramatically, according to the 2022 Edelman Australia Trust Barometer.

Media is one of the most distrusted industries in the country according to the report, which recorded an eight-point drop to 43% after trust in the media was up at 51% last year.

Trust in the government also experienced a dramatic drop after it went from 61% in 2021, down nine points to 52% in this year’s results.

In contrast, business remains a trusted institution at 58% this year, only dropping five points from 2021’s results at 63%. This is followed by NGOs at 58%, down just four points from last year’s 62%.

The data found Australians have a distrust due to failure of societal leadership, with only 43% of people placing trust in government leaders and CEOs.

It also found the majority of Australians believe that journalists (65%), government leaders (61%) and business leaders (61%) are actively trying to mislead them by saying things they know are false or grossly exaggerated.

Edelman Australia

The report found the trust in all media has fallen with tradition media only trusted by 48% of Australians and noted that most people are concerned about disinformation and fake news, as 73% worry fake news is being used as a weapon.

It also found that 55% of Australia say their default tendency is to distrust something until they trustworthy evidence, meanwhile 61% say that Australians are incapable of having constructive and civil debates about issues – a foundational trait of a functioning and productive society, especially in democratic nations.

The report noted that quality and reliable trustworthy information is incredibly important and that providing ‘quality information’ was the number one most powerful trust builder.

Michelle Hutton, Edelman CEO Australia and vice-chair of Asia Pacific, said: “In the year ahead, transparency and social action will be the currency with which business will earn the trust of their people and the public.

“Expectations are high and Aussies are looking to their leaders – and here lies the opportunity for business. 2022 must be the year of action; business has a larger-than-ever mandate to use its resources and scale to create value beyond the balance sheet.

“Many have declared bold ambitions in recent years, and society is now watching closely to see who will deliver. As firms work to create value for society, they have an opportunity to build trust with stakeholders along the way through operational transparency and authentic communication,” she added.

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