Journalists, let’s invest in trust, not just expect it

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on and is shared with permission. The Trusting News project is funded by the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Knight Foundation.

We know trust in the news media is decreasing. I mean, it’s really not a pretty picture.

Let’s start with this stat: A 2016 Gallup poll revealed that just 32% of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of trust in mass media.

Here’s another one, from POLITICO: Nearly half of voters, 46 percent, believe the news media fabricate news stories about President Trump and his administration, according to an October poll.

Nearly half think we make things up.

Now that we’ve established the seriousness of the situation, do you know what you can do about it? Do you feel like you have the strategies you need to combat misinformation, to share the value of your work and to communicate your own credibility. Do you understand enough about the nature of the distrust to address it properly?

And here’s the real question: Are you willing to do something about it, beyond wringing your hands and blaming lazy news consumers? Are you willing to accept that just continuing do good journalism is not a proactive enough approach?

We’d love to help.

What we do

The Trusting News project is designed to demystify the issue of trust in news. We research how people decide what to trust, then turn that knowledge into actionable strategies for journalists.


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