Canadians’ trust in media increases

Trust in government officials has also increased, but 46 per cent of Canadians still believe the government is “the most broken institution” — as a result, they’re placing more trust in businesses to assume responsibility on public change, according to the annual Edelman Trust Barometer.

Though Canada is counted among “distrusting” nations for the second year in a row, Canadians have largely responded to the era of “fake news” with more trust in media institutions, journalists and government officials, according to a global survey.

Research firm Edelman Intelligence released the results of its 18th annual Trust Barometer, which seeks to measure trust and credibility of global audiences through online surveys, on Wednesday.

1,700 Canadians took the survey in October and November.

Though more than half of respondents indicated they worry about “fake news being used as a weapon,” overall trust in media institutions and journalists has significantly increased this year, with a 17-point rise compared to last year.

The average trust in journalism is also up to 61 per cent, but only 28 per cent of survey respondents trust social media for their news.

Respondents were also skeptical about “what motivates news organizations,” the study found, with more than half believing that Canadian news organizations prioritize big audiences over reporting, sacrifice accuracy in favour of speed to break news and support institutional ideologies.

“Fears about fake news are pervasive, and we are seeing Canadians turn back to credentialed experts in their efforts to dispel them,” said Lisa Kimmel, President and CEO of Edelman Canada, in a news release.

Trust in academic experts increased, and so did that of government officials, but 46 per cent of Canadians believe that the government is “the most broken institution.” As a result, Canadians are placing more trust in businesses and CEOs to assume more responsibility on public change.

Businesses headquartered in Canada are also the most trusted globally, as per survey results from about 33,000 respondents around the world.

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