Despite negative opinions, media remains a trusted source for information

researchAlthough negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs, they are more trusted sources of information than many other institutions, including government and business, according to a recent report issued by the Pew Research Center for People & the Press.


A few key findings to consider:

  • Despite the growth of internet news, television news outlets, specifically cable news outlets, remain the top source of people’s impressions about the news media.
  • Nearly 69 percent say they have a lot or some trust in information they get from local news organizations, while 59 percent say they trust information from national news organizations.
  • By comparison, about half say they have a lot or some trust in information provided by their state government (51 percent) and the Obama administration (50 percent). Smaller percentages trust information from federal agencies (44 percent), business corporations (41 percent), Congress (37 percent) or candidates running for office (29 percent).

Yet, financial institutions are seeing a slight rebound in public trust. In July, The Chicago Booth/Kellogg School of Financial Trust Index released research that found 25 percent of Americans trust America’s financial systems, an increase following a dip reported in March 2011 in which trust went to 20 percent in the days after Japan’s natural disasters and nuclear crisis, as well as a steep stock market drop. Trust in banks alone inched up to 39 percent – higher than mutual funds (30 percent), large corporations (16 percent), and the stock market (16 percent).

These studies carry significant implications for financial institutions. Not only do they provide light for organizations working to regain the public’s trust, but also further demonstrate the valuable role the press continues to play as a trusted source of information. As a result, financial institutions must proactively communicate with and engage stakeholders – from the media to their employees and the greater public – to have their stories told.

How is your organization establishing itself as a trusted source of information?

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