China tops trusted nation's list, India at third place, says survey

Facebook admitted that accounts were controlled by Russian entities seeking to influence the US presidential election in 2016

Trust among the general population fell nine points to 43, placing it in the lower quarter of the 28-country Trust Index.

The survey showed almost two in three people are unable to distinguish reliable news from rumours and falsehoods.

For the first time media is the least trusted institution globally.

Edelman also explained the rise of trust in journalism versus the decline of trust in search and social media platforms.

But, trust in media on the whole is at 32 per cent and a third of the population admit to consuming less news than they used to, with one in five saying they avoid the news completely, the study said. The lack of faith in media has also led to an inability to identify the truth (59 percent), trust government leaders (56 percent) and trust business (42 percent).


In an annual assessment of trust levels around the world, the firm said Monday that trust in the USA has fallen precipitously in the past year, particularly among what it terms the 'informed public.' Trust in government has fallen the most but confidence in business, media and non-governmental organizations has also dropped sharply.

Richard Edelman, the company's president and CEO, said on CBSN that trust in the media has declined because "people are looking for objectivity and seeing opinions, and on social and search, they're seeing such of a difference of opinion that they can't get [anything] fact-based". "The root cause of this fall is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse".

Social media is trusted by less than a quarter of the United Kingdom population (24 per cent) with a majority of the public also backing tougher regulation for social networks, a new study has found. Only those in Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico and Turkey said they trusted platforms more than journalism. This is based on views of respondents about global companies headquartered in specific countries and how much these firms are trusted by them 'to do what is right'. However, Americans displayed a higher degree of trust in businesses. Media can not do it alone because of political and financial constraints.

Exactly half of those surveyed indicate that they interact with mainstream media less than once a week, while 25 percent said they read no media at all because it is too upsetting. "Every institution must play its part by educating its constituents and joining the public debate, going direct to the end-users of information", wrote Edelman. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, experiential), a joint venture with United Talent Agency.

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