Edelman Trust Barometer 2021 - Australians with poor 'information hygiene'

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 22 February 2021

Australian media, despite modest gains, continues to lag other institutions when it comes to trust,  according to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer.

No one media information source was seen as trusted in the latest barometer. Traditional media (-3 points) and search engines (-1 point) continued to fall, while owned channels and social media have jumped 5 and 9 points respectively.

The data also shows there has been dramatic increases of trust in government officials (+14 points), journalists (+11 points) and NGO representatives (+1 point) despite most Australians (68%) still being concerned about the political and ideological agendas of most news organisations.

Edelman says the continued distrust of news sources, led by misinformation, has led to the hesitancy of the COVID-19 vaccination.

"Our study found Australians with poor 'information hygiene,' including reliance on social media as a sole source, the sharing of unvetted stories and failure to seek broad news enegagement," says Edelman

"There was less willingness to get a COVID-19 vaccine within a year (67% versus 73% for people with good information hygiene)." 

Michelle Hutton, CEO Australia and vice chair of Asia Pacific, Edelman: "Media and government will need to work on delivering promises and restore their position as competent and trust institutions." 

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