Small publisher Schwartz Media is the third most-trusted media brand in Australia, according to a new Roy Morgan report.
Conducted in April 2019 by Roy Morgan, the MEDIA Net Trust Survey reveals that social media generally remains deeply distrusted in Australia. Almost half of all Australians (44 per cent) distrust social media, compared to only 7 per cent who distrust the ABC.
The survey also analysed trust by media channel, with news and newspaper websites achieving the highest trust level.
According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, trust is now firmly on corporate Australia’s agenda. “But distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring,” she said.
“The absence of the voices discussing distrust should be alarming every CEO and company director.
“Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much.
“And nowhere is that sense of betrayal more profound than in our media brands,” she said.
How was the survey completed?
Each month, Roy Morgan asks approximately 1,000 Australians each month which brands they trust and which they distrust. In April 2018 and April 2019, the company conducted additional surveys of approximately 1,200 Australians.
The surveys are unprompted and open-ended, and respondents are recruited from Roy Morgan’s Single Source database.
Trust scores are achieved by taking the trust score of each nominated media brand and subtracting its distrust score, resulting in a Net Trust Score (NTS).
Respondents were also asked why they trust or distrust nominated media brands.
“When we subtract distrust from trust to achieve a Net Trust Score or NTS, we reveal a minus NTS for the Australian media industry, indicating that more Australians distrust the media industry than trust it,” Levine said.
“In a world filled with so-called fake news, tracking real distrust is now a material issue for boards and the top management of media brands.Michelle Levine, CEO, Roy Morgan
“The consistently strong NTS performance by the ABC demonstrates that ‘real news’ is significantly more trusted by Australians than the ‘fake news’ promulgated on social media.
“Australians told us that their trust of the ABC is driven by its lack of bias and impartiality, quality journalism and ethics. While their distrust of social media is driven by lack of journalistic standards, fake news, manipulated truth, privacy concerns, bias and hidden agenda,” said Levine.
Why does distrust matter?
According to Levine:
- Distrust triggers audience churn
- Distrust kills audience engagement
- Distrust kills advertiser spend
- Distrust is the tipping point for reputational damage
- Distrust is the bellwether for an unsustainable future.
The Roy Morgan Net Trust Score – Topline Media Brands Report is available for purchase here.