For over a generation, research has tried to spot the qualities that lead people to trust the news. The work has concluded that generally, people want journalism to be fair, balanced, accurate, and complete. It is unclear, however, what these broad factors mean or how news organizations can do them. Even tougher, these traditional conceptions of trust were formulated before the appearance of the web and didn’t account for all the ways in which consumers today encounter news and publishers can deliver it.
A new comprehensive study, conducted by The Media Insight Project, shows that trust and reliability in news will be attenuated into specific factors that publishers can put into action and consumers can recognize. The specific factors that lead people to trust and depend on a news source also vary by topic, the study finds. what number of consumers value a particular component associated with trust depends, for example, on whether or not they are seeking news about politics or traffic and weather, coupled with lifestyle. In others, simple use is of upper value. For still others, being entertained is more important.
From time to time like this, when societies are dominated by fear, the danger from ignorance and misinformation intensifies while the necessity for accurate documentation of events and thorough analysis of knowledge grows. It helps reveal mistakes and omissions and, by extension, to correct dysfunctional behaviors and patterns in an exceedingly way that benefits the full. Regrettably, the general public opts to read, listen to, or watch a simplified and convenient version of developments, rather than having events presented to them in their full complexity. They like black-and-white in an exceeding world where “we” are white and also the “others” are black.
The independent and unbiased journalist is termed upon to perform his vocation amid this complex environment. He must dare to challenge political and business interests, separate truth from rumors, and lies from half-truths (the latter are often more dangerous). He must deconstruct unfettered conspiracy talk. He must have the courage, furthermore because the ability, to work out all different perspectives.
In many places around the world, journalists who dare to show the target truth are persecuted and jailed. Occasionally, their very life is in danger. Independent and responsible news could be a valuable asset whose contribution to society has to be recognized and cherished.