ABC, SBS and Fairfax most trusted brands, but social media lags

By Luke Anisimoff | 28 June 2018

A Roy Morgan study has found that Australian consumers place the government-funded ABC as the most trusted media organisation, while they see social media platforms as untrustworthy.

The Media Net Trust Survey, which asked 4,000 Australians which brands they trust and which they distrust, revealed that 47% of Australians distrust social media, while only 9% don't have faith in the ABC.

This comes in light of Facebook's new Here Together campaign, intended to enhance consumer allegiance, as well as the national uproar after a recent Liberal Party poll suggested Australia should privatise the ABC.

ABC boss Michelle Guthrie condemned the commercialisation suggestion at a Melbourne Press Club address on 19 June, saying the idea carried a “misplaced notion” of both privatisation and conservatism.

With media assurance an ever-mounting issue globally, Roy Morgan CEO, Michele Levine, agrees that confidence is a prime agenda for corporate Australia.

“Distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring,” she said, adding: “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 Facebook and social media is driven by fake news, manipulated truth, false statistics and fake audience measurement.

“The absence of the voices of distrust should be alarming every CEO and company director."

Roy Morgan's figures show interesting results. This is the distrust score minus the trust score...

Social media = -42%
Television = -16%
Newspapers = -13%
Internet = -7%
Magazines = -4%
Radio = -2%

After the ABC, SBS is Australia’s second most trusted media brand. Fairfax comes in third as the only other media brand with a positive Net Trust Scores. 

The top five drivers of distrust in commercial television were also polled and reasons include too much advertising, fake news, bias, focus on controversial stories and pushing commercial or political agenda.

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