Trust comes first

HERE’S A PLUS FOR NEWSPAPERS: Those between the ages of of 18 and 35 were most likely to see newspapers as credible.

The number of people who care about who reported something first is rapidly diminishing. Instead, what matters most is the trustworthiness of the source. These findings are reported in a recent survey on attitudes toward the media.

The survey was designed to look at consumer perceptions of both social media and mainstream media sources such as television, radio, Internet news sites and newspapers, and it was focused specifically on news coverage of the upcoming U.S. election.

When it comes to “perceived credibility,” traditional news outlets can take some comfort from the fact that the survey showed that newspapers, cable news and network news sources have the highest levels of credibility, much higher than blogs and social media sources. But the bad news is that only about 22 percent of those surveyed said they found traditional sources to be credible (blogs and social media were seen as credible by just 6 percent).

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Trust comes first

  1. Excellent point about trust, Ed.

    Have you any studies that address how newspaper design changes impact trust?

    I’m reminded of C. S. Lewis’ comment about changes to the Church of England liturgy. His sense was that since it is the worshiper’s responsibility to find one’s own sense of the divine presence, changes in the liturgy tend to disrupt the worshiper’s familiar patterns that give rise to their familiar worship experience.

    Redesigning a newspaper is, I would imagine, quite a bit like changing high church liturgy. You seem to have thrived making such changes for a good many decades now. Perhaps I overestimate the threat readers sense from design change.

    Looking forward to your make over of Pub Aux … and how the choir of publishers will respond. I found the preview enticing …

    • Keeping the trust of the reader is one of the key reasons why you do pre-launch packages. We want to show readers that the redesign is a positive, proactive act, one intended to improve the reader’s experience with with the newspaper. Just flinging a redesign out there unannounced seems to me a breach of trust.

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