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Trust in United States institutions sees record drop
February 21 2018, 05:38 | Irvin Gilbert
Facebook admitted that accounts were controlled by Russian entities seeking to influence the US presidential election in 2016DADO RUVIC REUTERS
Among the general population, trust fell nine points to 43 percent - while among the "informed public" a huge decrease of 23 percent saw the country's world standing plunge from sixth to last place. Almost two-thirds agree that the average person can not distinguish between good journalism and false information.
In this environment, media has become the least-trusted institution for the first time in Trust Barometer history - yet, at the same time, the credibility of journalists rose substantially.
Ed Williams, chief executive of Edelman UK, said: "After a flood of negative headlines in 2017, it's time these companies sat up and listened". In total, 61 per cent said they trusted traditional media (broadcasters and publishers) - the highest level since 2012, and 13 percentage points ahead of 2017.
This was leading people to switch off from the news, Edelman said. But a closer look at the numbers found that the public's trust in journalism has risen 5 percentage points while trust dropped 2 points for social and search platforms.
India is among the most trusted nations globally when it comes to government, business, NGOs and media but has recorded "extreme trust losses" compared to previous year, a survey said today. The lack of faith in media has also led to an inability to identify the truth (59 percent), trust government leaders (56 percent) and trust business (42 percent). Only those in China, Indonesia and India said they trust the media, with those in Singapore, the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates feeling neutral towards it. People in the U.S., U.K, and 20 other countries did not trust the media.
The least trusted institution of all, as seen by the survey, is the media, which 22 out of 28 countries don't trust. "The root cause of this fall is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse". In France, the year which saw the rise to power of President Macron also saw an eight percent increase in trust in government - albeit to a total of only a third of the population. Institutions must answer the public's call for providing factually accurate, timely information and joining the public debate.
The media, which is suffering from economic and political restraints, can't solve the trust problem alone. Edelman was awarded the Grand Prix Cannes Lion for PR in 2014; six Cannes Lions in 2015; and the Grand Prix in the Titanium category in 2016. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, experiential), a joint venture with United Talent Agency.