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Barely Half: Comms Pros on Whether their Organization Trusts the Media

Depends upon the media outlet. wrote one respondent. Some [media outlets] are fair; some aren’t.

More communications pros say their organization trusts the media than usually do not. However, the percentage is really a little under half. The others is split among fence sitters and the ones that say their organizations usually do not trust the media.

The 5th Annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey for 2022 asked respondents 483 mostly senior comms pros whether their organization trusts the integrity of reporting in traditional media outlets, the solution stacked up in this manner:

  • 49% agreed (39%) or strongly agreed (10%);
  • 28% neither agreed or disagree; and
  • 22% disagreed (14%) or strongly disagreed (8%) thats one in five.

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Why? Context behind the statistics

The survey invited respondents to talk about why their organization trusts, or will not trust the media, in open ended comments. This is an optional question for survey taker and 47 respondents wrote in answers. Below is really a representative sample of the answers

The ones that agreed or strongly agreed wrote:

  • Depends upon outlets. We have been a science-based organization and adhere to fact-based media.
  • Our regional outlets are very good.
  • We continue steadily to reap the benefits of responsible reporting by our local newspaper.
  • Traditional outlets are often run in accordance with ethical journalism principles.
  • We play heavily in industry trade media and specific financial media. Generally, we find this reporting is balanced.
  • With an increase of disinformation and misinformation on the market, we’ve seen the significance of cultivating strong relationships with traditional media.
  • Frankly, during the last few years, we’ve noticed the bias/slant in reporting has increased and the grade of reporting went down as turnover in local outlets has increased.
  • Because thats what journalism is. Not entertainment just like the mis-dis-information mediasphere.
  • Journalists are, at the very least for some remaining degree, qualified, objective reporters of news and information. The others are questionable.
  • Most traditional media outlets still have what I’d call checks and balances (e.g. editors) and try their finest to obtain the story right.

The ones that neither agreed or disagreed:

  • Depends upon the media outlet. Some are fair; some aren’t.
  • Depends upon the media source. Some have earned reliability, others not really much.
  • Organizationally, its trusted from the comms standpoint, I’m dubious of its quality and, increasingly, its effectiveness.
  • Waning trust. Reporters arent doing their homework.

The ones that disagreed or strongly disagreed:

  • Traditional media has lost a lot of its farm system many journalists who turn out the day-to-day material dont have the institutional knowledge and the editorial oversight they did even just 10 years back. I was a journalist for 20+ years, taught at Columbia, managed several newsrooms, trained many reporters, and really only trust certain outlets and bylines now. Between your decimation of the business enterprise, and the entertainment-ification (talking about data-driven), Chomskys Manufacturing Consent becomes truer each day.
  • Media is becoming increasingly activist like and when youre with a corporate brand, youre instantly a target.
  • Its popular to distrust traditional media outlets. It could not be valid nonetheless it is popular rendering it challenging to step of progress and say I trust them.
  • Insufficient fairness/balance. An excessive amount of journalists opinions.
  • The prevailing cynicism of traditional media is normally met with the old memories of our executives.
  • They are burned by reporters during the past and can avoid sending news to certain reporters/outlets due to past negative press.
  • Traditional media increasingly dispenses with claims of objectivity, and clearly stakes a political position in story selection and tone of coverage. Whatever side they’re on, traditional media appears to believe its always on the proper side.
  • They dont report facts. Most are now citing other media as a source when there isnt a genuine source.

The consequences of trust on comms

Whether you buy into the views above or not, this can impact the work of a specialist communicator. Its increasing the set of responsibilities.

Indeed, its not only the reporting we have to worry about however the information we share that switches into any possible reporting, as Karen Swim, a PR, marketing and social media marketing consultant,Words For Hire, LLC and President ofSolo PR Pro and a contributor to the survey analysis described:

Mis, mal and disinformation is among the biggest threats to your society. This goes beyond the political realm but undermines rely upon what folks read, see and hear from any organized body, including our organizations.

PR professionals should never only protect from mis, mal and disinformation about their companies or clients but area of the treatment for stem the tide. This means that we have to be vigilant about fact checking and digging deeper in to the information we share. In addition, it means learning new skills, such as for example identifying deep fakes. It is a growing and scary problem.

Concerning the JOTW Strategic Comms Survey

This survey was a joint effort betweenNeds Job of the Week(JOTW) andSword and the Script Media, LLC. Subscribers to both organizations were solicited to take the survey through mentions in the weekly newsletter, dedicated email requests and social media marketing.

Gini Dietrich and Karen Swim also solicited respondents from their respective communities atSpin SucksandSolo PR Pro.Altogether 483 respondents took the survey online, using Survey Monkey, from Friday, May 6, 2022, until June 14, 2022.

The majority are located in the U.S. (76%) and 70% have 11 or even more years of experience. 60 % are in-house communicators; another 15% work with agencies and 25% are self-employed as consultants or freelancers. Detailed demographics are contained in the full report.

The entire report is freely on SlideShare:The 5th Annual JOTW Strategic Communications Survey for 2022and may be looked at or downloaded without registration. A copy in addition has been embedded below for easy viewing. Finally,this is a PDF copy of the reportfor anybody that prefers that format.

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