Most trusted media outlet revealed

Australians have spoken, this time revealing their most trusted media organisation, as well as the least trusted, in a new landmark survey from Roy Morgan.

Findings from the survey of 5111 Australians revealed that they trust the ABC most and Facebook least. In fact, almost half of all Australians (47 per cent) deeply distrust social media as a source of news and information.

“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,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.

The MEDIA Net Trust Survey was conducted over four rounds, showing that the ABC is by far the nation’s most trusted media organisation, with SBS the second-most trusted, followed by Fairfax at third.

Only nine per cent of Australians distrust the ABC.

While trust is an important measure of a media outlet’s perceived integrity, distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring, says Ms Levine.

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

“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.

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

SBS was also rated as Australia’s most trusted commercial television network, well ahead of the other three commercial networks.

According to survey respondents, their top-five drivers of distrust in commercial television are:

1. False news / fake news.

2. Bias.

3. News is sensationalised / focus on controversial stories.

4. Pushing commercial or political agenda.

5. Too much advertising.


Do you trust the ABC as a reputable source of unbiased news and information? Which television network do you most trust? What causes you to distrust a media outlet? Do you trust social media?

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Should SBS and ABC merge?
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Social media: a force for good or evil?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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