Bias, Bullshit and Lies: Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism explore why trust in the media is on the decline.

Why is trust in journalism on the decline? In ‘Bias, Bullshit & Lies’, Nic Newman and Richard Fletcher explore this worrying trend and what news organizations can do to tackle distrust.

Analyzing thousands of open-ended responses from the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, the reports looks at varying attitudes towards the media’s veracity across nine markets.

Co-author Nic Newman says, “These findings should be a wake up call for journalists, platforms and regulators. Rebuilding trust will require all interested parties to work together. We need better incentives to create and showcase more accurate and more trusted content.”

Key insights:

  • Social media (24%) is trusted less than the news media in its ability to separate fact from fiction.
  • In talking about trust,those surveyed mentioned television brands more than any other type of media (e.g. print or online).
  • Across nine markets surveyed 40% trust the news media and feel journalists do a good job in checking sources, verifying facts, and providing evidence to back up claims.

Find out additional insights in Bias, Bullshit and Lies: Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media written by fellow researchers at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

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