In addition to newspapers’ inability to successfully implement new and lucrative revenue streams in the digital media age, it’s also bearing a backlash from audiences who are increasingly losing faith in journalists and the work they produce.
The US Pew Research Centre released new figures last week that showed further decline in credibility ratings for most American news organisations, including newspapers and cable news. Out of the 13 news organisations surveyed, the “believability” rating had dropped 6% from 62% believability in 2010 to 56% believability in 2012. That’s compared to an admirable 71% believability rating in 2002.
Australians are similarly disheartened by the media’s output. According to recent figures released by Edelman Public Relations last year the Australian public’s trust in their media is among the lowest in the world, right behind the US.
How can the media expect future audience’s to pay for online news if the general product is considered to be substandard?
How do journalists regain trust from its audiences? How did they lose it in the first place?
Could the widespread transition into pay-walled online journalism content force a simultaneous update in the standards of collating and reporting online news?
According to recent Essential Research figures from 2011, reported by Crikey last year, 13% of voters said they had “no trust at all” in newspapers, compared to a lowly 3% who claimed to have “a lot of trust.” When assessing people’s opinion of online news, Internet blogs remained the least trusted source of information, but figures showed that 38% people did trust news and opinion websites.
Other research by Essential Media reported on he ABC’s Drum portal shows that readers are generally skeptical and believe the media favour big business and corporations in their reporting and portrayals.