23rd in a 2022 Series*
It’s easy to get depressed reading the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer. Media (50%) finished last behind business (61%), NGOs (non-governmental organization) (59%) and government (52%) when respondents in the global annual survey were asked which institutions they trusted. And both government and media are seen as divisive forces, far from being the unifiers that society needs. Ouch. There are plenty more bad marks to review. Rather than dismiss “The Cycle of Distrust” as irrelevant to local news, read it (the executive summary is below) with an open mind. Know there are rebuilding blocks to grab in ensuring local newsroom are focused on winning the trust challenge. Everyday. Today’s Relevant Point notes three immediate actions to counter distrust: 1) Never miss an opportunity to demonstrate you’re not “The Media.” Explain why you’re different and prove it. Hint: You’re LOCAL, LOCAL, LOCAL, and you care about your community, for starters. 2) Know the one variable local news can control is the QUALITY of news and information it publishes. Edelman labels quality as the “most powerful trust builder across institutions.” Be your toughest — and best — here; and, 3) In 2022, use THE Community Forum strategy to engage your readers on the issue of trust. Invite, discuss, act, evaluate and do it again. Build your own version of the Edelman scoreboard and measure your performance based on reader responses and suggestions. Improving “Trust in Newspapers” is one of three legs supporting the Community Forum transformative strategy. After digesting the Edelman Trust Barometer, now you know why.
—Tom Silvestri, Executive Director, The Relevance Project
*ABOUT THE SERIES: Our goal is to share a Relevant Point of the Day (RPD) each weekday throughout 2022. Our target is at least 222. Thank you for supporting The Relevance Project. Your success is our focus.