I was very proud to have had the chance to join a stellar panel today to launch the 2020 edition of Cision's State of the Media report.
The report covers a lot of different topics but what I found most interesting was that journalists perceive a decline in the distrust of the media. Or put another way, they feel the media is more trusted than it was last year (and dramatically more trusted than it was in 2017).
I would argue that this cannot be viewed in isolation (as it were) and that you must see it in the context of a wider erosion of trust in the establishment.
The media see themselves as holding the establishment to account (quite rightly so), but there is a real danger of them being lumped in as a part of that very same establishment. You only need to look at commentary of the BBC on social media to see that perception is blurred at best. The bigger the titles, the more blurred the lines.
When I look at a brand such as VICE, it is immediately clear what its MO is: the definitive guide to an uncertain world. I'm going to get real-world information from diverse viewpoints that is going look and sound like nothing else I can read on the web. Not all media brands have this clarity though and where's there's uncertainty, there's a lack of trust.
While I was live tweeting during the session, Jonathan Weinberg pointed out that "like brands will have to enhance their comms around values post-virus, so will the media to bring in new readers". I'd add that clearly drawing the lines of their mission and beliefs will ensure that should any bias exist, it is laid bare, front and centre (another point raised during the panel which deserves its own blog).
According to the 2020 global data, 59% of journalists believe that the public has lost trust in the media over the last year. This may seem high, but it’s actually part of a decrease in distrust of the media in the eyes of journalists. So, a positive step in the right direction.