The trust gap: How and why news on digital platforms is viewed more skeptically versus news in general


What role, if any, do social media, search engines, and messaging apps play in eroding the public’s confidence in the news media? In virtual roundtable discussions with small groups of journalists and publishers last year, many expressed concern that digital platforms were at least partly to blame for declining levels of trust in news in many places around the world. Some worried that platforms enable bad-faith criticism of journalism to circulate more easily and insidiously while polluting the information environment with low quality substitutes for factual reporting. Others saw platforms as undermining news audiences’ connections with their brands, even as they often saw digital media intermediaries as essential to reaching segments of the public least likely to tune in through legacy modes such as print or broadcast.

In this report, the latest installment of our ongoing Trust in News Project, we explore these questions from the perspective of audiences.

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