Who do you trust?

Do most people trust blogs more than mainstream media?  Or at least, some blogs more than mainstream media?  Not according to this survey from social technology analysts at Groundswell:


British media blogger Paul Bradshaw thinks it’s the wrong question.  He says blogs engender more authentic communication because they are a conversation between readers and writers which allows information to grow and change over time through corrections and links.

Like many enthusiasts for newer technology, for those who use the blogosphere religiously he may well be right.  It’s certainly true for me that in Aotearoa New Zealand, the analysts I read to kick off my thinking are mostly online rather than in print mainstream journalism.

But most people I know – and I’m sure this is at least partly about being 38 rather than 18 – think the blogosphere are a bunch of opinionated wankers writing without the redeeming influences of restrictions of space or balance.

Of course we are – but what opinionated wankers….

I agree with Paul Bradshaw that surveys like this are relatively meaningless, though not for the same reasons.  There are too many unexamined variables like age, geographical place, access to and familiarity with technology.

And putting all blogs in the same basket, rather than asking say, if there are five blogs you trust to give you good quality information, means we miss the richness of the internet.  The same could be true of the mainstream media in places with larger populations, where more variety can thrive due to economies of scale – though FoxNews does its best to disprove that theory.

Not sure we get that richness in wee New Zealand – hence, perhaps, my going to the blogosphere first on most things these days.

2 thoughts on “Who do you trust?

  1. NZ is curesed by freedom of speech without diversity. Each city has it’s one daily newspaper and there are no competing views on paper with the same reach. TV News is useless unless it is 24 hours and constantly updated, like the BBC or CNN. TVNZ 7 shows promise here, but needs more resources. They are unlikely to get it from this government. They will do well to survive at all.

    I trust specific, single bloggers. I don’t trust “blogs”. My trust is based on experience over time.

    I’m also one of those VERY strange people who will make the effort to independently verify what I’m reading if I find it to be transforational in content. If it’s something that will change my mind on a topic important to me, I want to be sure it’s true, correct and able to be verified.

    Poeple who consistently past the “don’t trust – verify” standard win more trust over time.

    This is why I have come to have NO faith all in the NZ Herald or the DomPost on political matters. They have failed the verification test countless times…..

    • Yep, truthseeker, can get with that, I’m into evidence-based discussion too, though as you say, we’re probably more inclined to check “transformational information” – which is a little dangerous ‘cos of what we may leave unexamined I think.

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