An oft-cited 2016 Gallup Poll found public trust in journalism at an all-time low, attributing that year’s acceleration of an ongoing decline to the presidential election.
Building trustJournalism’s trust problem is deep, wide and multifaceted. It can be viewed in three essential categories: the public trust, the trust between news organizations and the trust within each organization itself. Each piece is inextricably connected to the others, and with the entire journalism universe in the midst of an extended upheaval, rebuilding one requires attention to the others.
Big Picture A primer on building trust
Building trust is essential. Start with understanding the issues: Namely, erosion of public trust in journalism, mistrust between news organizations, and fractured trust within newsroom themselves.
Plan Learn more about trust and the media
Americans are still very much consumers of news, but their trust levels have plummeted, with the degree of mistrust varying along the lines of political ideology.
A survey conducted with the audiences of more than two dozen newsrooms found greater trust in journalism among more liberal respondents and also among white respondents.
Declining trust is prompting audiences to change their news consumption behavior, including checking multiple news outlets to verify information.
This report, which blends two surveys from the Media Insight Project, describes journalism’s trust problem through the prism of political affiliation.
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Do Tactics to help you build trust with your audience, with other news outlets and within your own news operation
This guide summarizes the work of a handful of groups and institutions that are grappling with the trust and journalism question full-time, as well as some potential funding sources and tools in development to support newsrooms interested in providing greater transparency to their audiences.
Honoring this matrix of priority trust indicators and editorial attributes can demonstrate to your audience the trustworthiness of your news organization as well as help distribution platforms find and elevate your work.
The old model of fact-checking, with its focus on individual bits of information, is actually harming trust in journalism and needs to be dramatically shifted to focus on issues instead.
At the heart of the public’s trust in journalism is the relationship between each journalist and the people he or she writes about, a relationship that if given the care, respect and attention it deserves will translate into the finished product.
True crowdsourcing — getting beyond data and traditional methods of reporter-centric journalism and enabling people to share their stories — can build trust by surfacing narratives such as ProPublica’s maternal mortality series that would not be likely come to light any other way.
Three of four Americans give the media credit for keeping public officials from wrongdoing, and that, along with an emphasis on accuracy and accountability, is where journalists who care about building trust should focus their efforts.
A strong marketing campaign that informs your audience about the value of your work can help reinforce a message of trustworthiness.