Is the public’s trust in the media dwindling?

March 12, 2019


The public’s dwindling trust in the media has been a topic of industry conversation for a while, but where do PR professionals fit into this?

As PR professionals, we have an important role to play in creating accurate and relevant stories that readers can trust while positioning our clients as industry leaders. Nevertheless, does the public actually trust the stories we tell?

Fake news and the demand for instant content
It’s no secret that the media landscape has changed dramatically over the past decade. The world of digital, influencer marketing and demand for immediate content means PR professionals are under pressure to create content quickly.

The demand of creating a ‘buzz’ has led to the abundant amount of fake news to create an exciting, and sometimes false, story. This upsurge of misleading content has affected the relationship between the media and the public, with platforms such as Facebook in the line of fire. Edelman’s trust barometer 2018 report revealed that 70% participants are worried about fake news highlighting the public’s deteriorating confidence in the media.

In fact, our recent global survey highlighted that fake news, loss of trust, and the volume and immediacy of news has caused a negative impact on PR worldwide. Because of this, maintaining trust and reputation is more important than ever as fake news and the speed of news threatens core PR principles.

The increase of unrepresented influencer #Sponsored posts has intensified this mistrust felt by the public. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is currently tackling the issue, taking legal action when social posts fail to acknowledge if the content has been paid for – manipulating audiences. But, misleading posts still slip through.

By Carolyn, McOnie Agency

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