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Public trust in legacy media plummets, ‘news avoidance’ at record levels

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Image – Trust in News AUT report 2024.

A recent report reveals a significant decline in the public’s trust in New Zealand’s legacy news media, plunging well below the global average.

The findings from the fifth annual Trust in News report by the AUT Research Centre for Journalism, Media, and Democracy paint a concerning picture for legacy media outlets of diminishing faith in news sources.

According to the report, trust in news among New Zealanders has plummeted from 42% to 33% in just one year, landing notably well below the international average of 40%. This mirrors a global trend but places New Zealand on par with countries like the UK and near the US in terms of skepticism towards legacy media news reliability.

Moreover, the survey results indicate that Kiwis are increasingly shunning news consumption, with a growing number actively avoiding it due to perceptions of excessive negativity or poor quality. The proportion of individuals evading news has risen from 69% to 75%, with 16% avoiding it often, 42% sometimes, and 17% occasionally.

Merja Myllylahti, co-director of the research centre implications of the findings were alarming, saying that legacy media ‘has lost its authority’ as the primary source of news and information. She noted a growing trend of people fact-checking information themselves.

The survey, conducted online by Horizon Research and carefully weighted across demographics, also points to a decline in trust across major New Zealand news brands. While TVNZ remains a primary news source, Facebook has surprisingly risen to second place despite a decline in trustworthiness.

The Otago Daily Times emerged as the most trusted news brand, followed by RNZ and NBR.

Greg Treadwell, an AUT lecturer and co-author of the report, said there was an urgent need for journalists and media companies to rebuild trust by ‘fostering relationships’ with their audiences and communities.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. … fostering relationships be damned..! How about some investigative journalism, starting with the stuff staring them in the face, like the explosion of cancer cases in the young, excess mortality, and so-called long covid. How about telling the truth about why Russia went into Ukraine and the weather and carbon scams. How about taking the rose-coloured glasses of when reporting on Israel.

    How about doing your bloody job..!

    • Nope, easier to blame it on “perceptions of excessive negativity or poor quality”.

      Nothing at all to do with being sanctimonious, unabashedly leftist, establishment mouth pieces who are proven wrong time and again by a cat meme on Twitter 😆

  2. Uh -oh, the poor old globalist, neo liberal, US boot licking, political establishment. They reply on the MSM to keep the sheeple in line….Or put another way, this can only be A GOOD THING.

  3. Not just nz msm but overseas msm I never watch or read now, the likes of cnn, nyt, bbc, Wapo, the Guardian, most Australian media, even Fox News is fake news most of the time

  4. Honestly I wouldn’t even trust woke University polls like this one. The true % for trust in mainstream media is probably in the single digits at this point.

  5. We don’t trust the media, the government, the medical industry, the education system, the police, the supermarkets, the public ‘service’.

    They can all go to hell and take their propaganda, lies, digital monitoring and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Trust will NEVER be regained.

    The people who work for these organisations should get some morals and leave now otherwise prepare to go down with the titanic (another of the globalists intentional disasters).

  6. Did you read the one where the “expert” Michael Baker was concerned because people are doing their own research

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