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The Most Trusted Media for News and Information [Chart]

Social media is NOT the most trusted resource for news and information.  

Traditional media and online search engines are the most trusted sources of general news and information around the world, according to the "2014 Edelman Trust Barometer."  The global survey found that 65% of "informed publics" trust traditional media (top-4 box on a 9-point scale), with an equal share trusting online search engines. Informed publics refer to college-educated adults aged 25-64 in the top quartile of household income for their respective age groups and who are significant media consumers. 

Here is the breakdown showing levels of trust in news and information sources:

levels of trust in media


The report DOES show of a decline in trust of media in general.  Since anyone can now build a website, publish advertising with a click and sell, sell, sell... who can people trust?

MarketingCharts says that while levels of trust in each specific form of media grew from last year, trust in media as an overall institution lost ground. Only a slight majority 52% of “informed publics” said they trust media in general to do what’s rightdown from 57% a year ago. Trust in the media is particularly low in the US, falling from 51% in 2013 to 42% this year, one of the lowest levels of the 27 countries studied.

As you develop a marketing plan, you have about a 50-50 chance of someone trusting you, even before you implement a plan. This makes it more important to listen first and: "Don't just sell. First, make their day!"

Trust but verify:

While MarketingCharts is consistently a trusted resource, we trust but verify.  Here is a chart from Gallup which shows a history of how much people trust mass media since 1997:

levels of trust in media gallup

Here is the chart from the previous year from

levels of trust in media 2013

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 6,000 “informed public” respondents across 27 countries; 500 each in the US and China, and 200 in each of the 25 other countries.

What is "owned media"?

Your website would be a good example  A website where you say "We are the very best in the universe" does not surprise nor impress anyone.  It is important for you to believe in yourself but it is not enough to make others trust you.

What is "hybrid media"?

MarketingCharts shares this on

"There's an emerging class of media brands that are smart, scrappy and unmatched in their digital DNA. Call them hybrids. They're digitally native and entrepreneurial. They use social and search to their fullest, yet many of them have a traditional ad-sales network that resembles their legacy-laced brethren. Hence the descriptor."   -  Read more about hybrid media here.

Online search engines offer news. (real news and fake news) You can set up Google Alerts to get the latest news delivered to your email inbox based on specific topics.

If you are not in search engine news, you must use other methods for creating trust. If traditional media is too expensive, create your own hybrid media marketing plan. Do not kick back with an "easy/cheap" plan by relying solely on social media.  While social media offers more opportunities, it is far from being the most trusted source for news and information.

An inbound marketing strategy is an example of hybrid media. Understanding the various elements with search, social, ppc, email and "owned media" to gain trust are all pieces of the inbound marketing puzzle.  

If you are interested in an inbound marketing review, contact me here.  We can talk about how to create your own hybrid marketing plan.

Topics: Statistics Marketing Marketing Plan Social Media Marketing Inbound Marketing