Improving Trust in News: Audience Solutions

Caroline Fisher, Terry Flew, Sora Park, Jee Young Lee, Uwe Dulleck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As the news media continue to search for sustainable business
models in response to digitisation, concern about low levels of
trust in news has been rising. Trust in news brands is seen as an
essential pre-requisite for their economic survival. While there is
extant research on the crisis of trust in news, less attention has
been paid to identifying possible solutions from the perspective
of the audience. Based on a survey of 1619 Australian news
consumers, this paper helps address this gap. Informed by
existing research, participants were asked about a range of
possible factors influencing their perceptions of trust in news.
Participants expressed strongest support for reducing bias and
opinion from journalists in stories, making reporters declare all
conflicts of interest, and boosting the amount of in-depth
reporting. Increasing journalists’ activity on social media and
employing more reporters, were less supported remedies,
particularly among those who tend to have low trust in news.
Those who have higher trust in news are more supportive of
options to boost their trust further, whereas those with low trust
in news are less enthusiastic. These findings highlight the
challenge for news organisations of improving perceptions of
trust among those who are already sceptical about the news.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Practice
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jul 2020

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