ABC most trusted – Facebook most distrusted

AUSTRALIANS trust the ABC most and distrust Facebook the most, a new Roy Morgan media survey has revealed.

Conducted in May by Roy Morgan, the MEDIA Net Trust Survey showed that while Facebook – and social media organisations generally – is deeply distrusted in Australia, the ABC is by far the nation’s most trusted media organisation. 

Half of all Australians (47 percent) distrust social media, compared to only 9 percent who distrust the ABC. 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 NTS.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, trust is now firmly on corporate Australia’s agenda,

“But distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring,” Ms Levine said.

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

“Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much.

“And nowhere is that sense of betrayal more profound than in our media brands.

“When we subtract distrust from trust to achieve a Net Trust Score or NTS, we reveal a minus NTS for the Australian media industry,” she said.

“The banking industry has an NTS of minus 18 percent, compared to the media industry with an NTS of minus 7 percent. So, while media industry is less toxic than banks, it is still in negative territory.

Media category Net Trust Scores (distrust score subtracted from trust score) assessed by Roy Morgan are:

Social media     minus 42%

Television         minus 16%

Newspapers      minus 13%

Internet             minus 7%

Magazines        minus 4%

Radio               minus 2%

SBS is also Australia’s most trusted commercial television network with an NTS of plus 5 percent – well ahead of the other three commercial networks, all with an NTS of between minus-6 and minus 10 percent.

“Australians told us that their trust of the ABC is driven by its lack of bias and impartiality, quality journalism and ethics,” Ms Levine said. “While their distrust of Facebook and social media is driven by fake news, manipulated truth, false statistics and fake audience measurement.”

According to survey respondents, their top five drivers of distrust in commercial television were: False news and fake news; bias; news is sensationalised and there is a focus on controversial stories; pushing commercial or political agendas; and too much advertising.

Ms Levine said distrust mattered to media organisations because it negatively affected the bottom line.

“Distrust triggers audience churn, distrust kills audience engagement,” Ms Levine said. “Distrust kills advertiser spend, distrust is the tipping point for reputational damage, and distrust is the bellwether for an unsustainable future.”


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