Trust the media 2

I suggested recently that I believe mainstream media has taken too little notice of signs that ‘the public’ no longer find them a creditable source of information.

Another survey has just come out, from public relations firm the Edelman Trust, which found that people in 20 countries have less trust in the television news (36%, down from 49% last year); and newspapers (34%, down from 47% last year).

The UK trusts the media least of the countries surveyed, weighing in with just 28%.

If only 1 in 3 people trust the mainstream media, why is it still called “mainstream”?  And how can we make our media sources more accountable to us, the community of readers/watchers? 

I guess we are already, by turning away from newspapers – even the New York Times may not be immune.

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3 thoughts on “Trust the media 2

  1. Thinking about this…..I used to buy the Sunday edition of the NYT in Toronto late on Sunday mornings. That was fairly exceptional. Newspapers are local creatures, bounded by physical and logistical limits competing with the passage of time that renders their content “yesterday’s news”….or worse. In 1983, I used to go to the newspaper reading room at Wellington Library and read various newspapers from overseas that might be as little as 4 to 6 weeks old. Today, I can read all of them often before the print editions actually hit the streets in the cities where they are printed.

    Perhaps one possible role for newspapers is to actively cultivate a global readership. Though I frankly admit this will be a big ask, given most newspapers tend to identify with the communities where they began.

    I used to go to cnn.com every day. Then 9/11 happened and after 3-4 days of frank examination of the causes, they fell into line behind G W Bush and signed up for the “terrorists are evil-doers who hate freedom”. There may be a lesson in that for newspapers. People want news with integrity. In the new era maybe it won’t mater where it comes from as long as it is TRUE. I’d pay for that. Right now, almost no one is selling it.

    • Hey Truthseeker, yep, I know what you mean. I find it depressing that I go back to the Guardian online in the UK for better analysis – when I lived in England it was my fave read but it’s narrow range of opinion I found incredibly irritating at times. Now it looks like utopian journalism.
      I think you’re right – people do want news with integrity, or at least a lot of people do. And I think in holding a “better first and wrong than last and right” attitude to current events, news outlets lose readers/watchers. Because we don’t trust them anymore.
      At least that’s how I feel – and I don’t believe I’m alone.

  2. Yip, they are no longer mainstream, just old skool. I make sure I hear/read news from many sources, which actually only reinforces that you can’t trust one source. The story is often vastly different depending on the paper/news channel.

    I will often actively seek more information on a news story online or look for commentary in blogs. At least then I know it’s based on opinion and(potentially) openly biased. That’s become ‘mainstream’ news to me.

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