Ben Smith, Founder, PRmoment.com
Consumers are less trusting of social media and continue to be sceptical of government, business, media and NGOs in the UK. This is according to the 2018 Trust Barometer, PR firm Edelman’s 18th annual trust and credibility survey.
The UK version of the Edelman Trust Barometer found that social media companies have lost the trust of most of the public, with only a quarter of the UK population now saying that they trust social media as a source for news and information. Where social media companies were once seen as champions of free speech and democracy, they are now seen as not taking enough responsibility for key issues including extremism, fake news, and cyberbullying. As a consequence, the majority of people are now calling for greater regulation in the sector.
The recorded version of the live stream featuring PRmoment founder Ben Smith, Louise Turner, UK lead, Edelman Intelligence, Howard Kosky from markettiers and James Erskine from Social Circle
Here are the UK findings of the Edelman Trust Barometer:
- There is a huge increase in trust in traditional media (61%), reaching levels not seen since 2012. But it is not all good news, as people are consuming less traditional media and some are actively avoiding it altogether (19%).
- There is a rebound in faith in experts and leaders.
- Only 6% of people now consider themselves part of the informed public – those who consume business or political news several times a week, this is an all-time low.
- News rejecters say the news agenda is too depressing (40%), that the news is too biased, and that the news itself is controlled by “hidden agendas”.
- Trust in government remains very low at 36% and the majority feel as though their views are not represented in politics today.
- When looking at the bigger picture, Britain remains subdued with distrust continuing across the board and Britons are becoming more pessimistic about their economic outlook.
- The biggest concerns for the future of Britain include ensuring the NHS is able to provide care for an ageing and growing population (79%) and the worry of rising political or religious extremism (72%).
- Only 20% feel their standard of living will improve in 2018 and 36% expect it to worsen.
These findings show that business communicators have an opportunity to offer the public better news, especially as there is increasing trust in CEOs.
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