We live in a world where mistrust begins to reign and in which the fundamental actors of the progress of humanity lose legitimacy. You can do an exercise to validate the trust you have in politicians and / or political parties, representatives of Congress and businessmen, just to mention some key players in our society. If your scale is from 1 to 10 and your confidence index is 5 or below, it means that you are part of a majority that is losing confidence in its leaders.
The loss of confidence weakens the social fabric, it is fertile ground to erode the institutional framework and a catalyst of populism.
According to the confidence barometer elaborated by Edelman, which measures four institutions: NGOs, businesses, Governments and media, only 48% of the general population relies on its institutions, although the proportion rises to 59% if deemed to the more informed public.
For the preparation of the report which reaches its 18th Edition, the consulting firm conducted surveys in 28 countries in different regions of the planet. People are divided into two groups. On one hand, the informed public, composed of individuals aged 25 to 64, with college degrees and considered as part of the higher-income population and the remaining group is what they call general public.
The first factor that stands out from the report corresponds to the loss of confidence in the media, in large part because of the scale of fake news, flooding social media with their increasing bad influence in society. However, people´s mistrust due to fake news is benefiting the consolidated journalistic brands, which have turned into refugees against lies. The loss of trust in the media is evident in data: 63% of respondents acknowledge not knowing how to distinguish between good journalism and falsehoods, as well as their inability to know if a story has been developed by professional media or not.
The interesting thing is that because of this phenomenon, increasingly more people renewed their confidence in traditional media. This is very relevant because it shows that the professional editorial rooms constitute a recognized value to give credibility to the news.
Another interesting fact is that, according to the report, it seemed that confidence in the companies is rising in recent years and the confidence index is almost on par with that of the NGOs. The companies have become the agent of change that society demands. Entrepreneurs are reliable and a high percentage of respondents claim that they trust their own companies and believe that a company can carry out actions that increase the benefits, at the same time that they are improving the social conditions of the community in which it operates.
Confidence in corporate managers has also increased after a fall last year. Two out of every three respondents say they want their company´s directors to take the lead in political changes.
Society and progress are only sustainable in a framework of relationships based on trust and for that reason, I take this opportunity to reiterate a phrase from Francis Fukuyama: “trust is a large economic value and the only and penetrating cultural property that determines the well-being of a nation and its ability to compete”.
Gustavo Manrique Salas
Director of Strategic Communications & Partner at Stratego.