The ABC remains Australia’s most trusted media organisation while social media is still struggling to win over the public, according to Roy Morgan.
The MEDIA Net Trust Survey found that although there has been some improvement for the social media giant since the last survey in 2018, Facebook remains the most distrusted media brand in Australia.
The problem is not limited to Facebook, however, with 44 per cent of the 1,200 Australians surveyed stating they distrust social media.
“The absence of the voices discussing distrust should be alarming every CEO and company director,” said Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine.
“Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much.
“In a world filled with so-called fake news, tracking real distrust is now a material issue for boards and the top management of media brands.”
Facebook Australia managing director Will Easton said about the findings: “Consumer trust and distrust are very important metrics for brands to care about and we’ve been working hard to improve on our scores from last year. We are pleased this survey shows the level of distrust of Facebook has substantially improved (+33 per cent). Across the FB family of apps we have continued to see growth over the past 12 months and we are proud of the contribution this is making to consumers, businesses and the Australian community.
“There are also number of other very encouraging results from the survey when reviewed in detail. When asked about the platforms people found useful, Facebook and its associated apps ranked the highest. 82 per cent of people said the Facebook app was “extremely useful” or “very useful”, with Facebook Groups at 80 per cent and Instagram at 77 per cent. This demonstrates the increasing impact our family of app and services have on people’s lives.”
And if fake news results in distrust, ‘real news’ equates to trust, hence the strong performance of the ABC.
Just seven per cent of respondents said they distrusted the ABC.
“Australians told us that their trust of the ABC is driven by its lack of bias and impartiality, quality journalism and ethics,” said Levine.
“While their distrust of social media is driven by lack of journalistic standards, fake news, manipulated truth, privacy concerns, bias and hidden agenda.”
After the ABC, SBS is Australia’s second most trusted media owner, followed by Schwartz Media, then Macquarie media.
Nine, Seven and Ten all returned a negative net trust score.