Edelman Trust Barometer 2008

Richard Edelman unveiled his company’s annual trust barometer study–this is the ninth edition–on his 6 A.M. blog a day before the official release.  He previewed seven key findings, but I just want to highlight a couple, which I think are particularly interesting.

Finding #1: “Trust in media as an institution is at a high point in the study’s history, with marked increases over past year standings in the U.K., Germany, the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and India.”  This is the first year where the definition of media was expanded to include social media, which probably boosted its ranking.
==> In Dec 2007, BBC commissioned a study on the perception of media in 14 countries.  For Singapore, 1,011 were polled out of the 11,344 worldwide.  Responding to one question on perception of press freedom, only 36 per cent gave Singapore’s press a high freedom rating.  This was the lowest of all the 14 countries surveyed, a key fact completely omitted in reportage by local state-owned media.  Almost as if to prove the point, one local English daily put a spin on the figure, reporting it as such: “Despite the fact that the media here was perceived ‘as less free than in any other country surveyed’, 36 per cent gave the local press a high freedom rating.” (TODAY, “Social stability is key: Poll,” Dec 11, 2007).  Check local citizen journalist Alex Au’s blog for more background and analysis.   I am also attaching a more detailed report of the study: 10_12_07_worldservicepoll.pdf

Finding #2: “Social media is on the rise, particularly in the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). As expected, it is also more highly used and trusted by young opinion elites. Wikipedia ranks as the No. 2 source of credible information among 25-to-34-year-old opinion elites in the United States, by 55% of respondents.”
==> A surprising lot of professional communicators I know do not give much credence to the community-edited Wikipedia, dismissing its credibility and value.  Numerous studies, including one groundbreaking experiment by Nature, provided much evidence that Wikipedia articles are as accurate as those found in Encyclopedia Britannica.  While there have been a number of high-profile hoax entries, Wikipedia has instituted measures to tighten its editorial policy and process.  There is a whole community out there that is actively creating and editing entries on companies, newsmakers, scandals, and social issues.  Does Wikipedia not provide organizations with an excellent opportunity to be part of a conversation in a transparent, open way?



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