People trust platforms less, trust journalism more, study says

The remaining institutions of business, media and NGOs also experienced declines of 10 to 20 points.

Trust in United States institutions, including the government and media, is imploding, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer published ahead of the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denounced the media and judiciary - attacks his critics say risk undermining public confidence in those institutions. Institutions within China saw significant increases in trust led by government, which jumped eight points to 84 percent among the general population, and three points to 89 percent within the informed public.

Globally, almost seven in 10 respondents among the general population worry about fake news or false information being used as a weapon, and 59 percent say that it is getting harder to tell if a piece of news was produced by a respected media organization.

He noted that it's the first time that the massive plunge in trust wasn't linked to a faltering economy or catastrophe.

Ironically, this is happening at a time when the USA economy is growing strongly, unemployment continues to edge lower and share prices are booming.

Edelman also explained the rise of trust in journalism versus the decline of trust in search and social media platforms. Of 28 countries surveyed, 20 lie in "distruster territory", one more than in 2017.

The just-released 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that trust in United States institutions showed the biggest drop in the poll's 18-year history, plummeting nine points to 43 percent among the general population and a staggering 23 percent plunge 45 percent among the "informed public".

The report finds the media in free fall, ranking for the first time as the least trusted institution.

Media is now the least trusted institution globally, according to the survey.

More than half of Britons worry about fake news, Edelman said, while 64% said they could not distinguish between proper journalism and fake news.

Fifty-nine percent of people surveyed for the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer said they were unsure what they see in the media is true and what isn't, while almost seven in 10 said they worry about fake news being used as "a weapon".

"The least trusted country brands are Mexico (32 per cent), India (32 per cent), Brazil (34 per cent) and China (36 per cent)", the survey said, adding that trust in brand U.S. (50 per cent) dropped five points - the biggest decline of the countries surveyed. The employer is the new safe house in global governance, with 72 percent of respondents saying that they trust their own company. However, Americans displayed a higher degree of trust in businesses.

The survey further noted that companies headquartered in Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and Australia are most trusted.

Almost seven in 10 respondents worry about fake news and false information being used as a weapon.


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