Australians’ trust in the media is at a three-year low.
The latest look into trust levels across various sectors show media is low at 43%. The figure is the same as last year, but a drop of 5% from the year prior. There had been some hope in October 2015 when the figure was at 54%. However, the past six months has seen the trust deplete 11%.
Similarly, the trust in the Government, NGOs and business have all decreased sharply in the past six months. The Edelman Trust Barometer surveys more than 33,000 people around the world and looks at the credibility and trust the population has with various sectors.
“Trust in all institutions has mirrored the volatility that has characterised recent politics in Australia,” said Steve Spurr, CEO of Edelman Australia. “With the shine coming off another political leader, this year’s results highlight how quickly trust can be lost in a person or institution. This is a valuable lesson for institutions. We are entering a period in time that requires leaders to embrace authenticity and be viewed as a human rather than be judged by their list of achievements, to effectively build trust and connection with consumers.”
The survey looks at both the mass population (people aged over 18) and informed public respondents (those aged between 25-64, college educated with a significant amount of media consumption). From a global perspective, there’s a widening gap of trust levels between those of the mass population and those in the informed public group. This gap is being driven by inequality in income.
“We are now observing the inequality of trust around the world,” said Iain Twine, CEO of South East Asia and Australasia at Edelman. “This brings a number of potential consequences including the rise of populist politicians, the blocking of innovation and the onset of protectionism and nativism.”
In Australia, 75% of the population believe the gap between those who are wealthy and those who aren’t is widening, and that it should be on the government and business to create equality. On the other hand, 46% of Aussies don’t trust their employer to do the right thing.