Each year, Edelman publishes its Trust Barometer, tracking the level of trust people have in various institutions in countries all over the world.  The results from the 2018 survey show stunning changes.  Much of it is downright scary on one hand.  On the other hand, it might explain exactly where we are these days.

The two big headlines

 “The implosion of trust in the United States and the decline of trust in global media” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that trust in the U.S. has suffered the largest-ever-recorded drop in the survey’s history among the general population in a single year.

Trust in U.S. falls below Russia, China, and South Africa

Trust among the general population fell nine points to 43, placing it in the lower quarter of the 28-market Trust Index. Trust among the informed public in the U.S. imploded, plunging 23 points to 45, making it now the lowest of the 28 markets surveyed, below Russia and South Africa.


We’re from the government and we’re here to help

Not according to the Trust Barometer.  The collapse of trust in the U.S. is driven by a staggering lack of faith in government, which fell 14 points to 33 percent among the general population, and 30 points to 33 percent among the informed public. The remaining institutions of business and media also experienced declines of 10 to 20 points. These decreases have all but eliminated last year’s 21-point trust gap between the general population and informed public in the U.S.

Media is the least trusted institution

For the first time media is the least trusted institution globally.

In 22 of the 28 markets surveyed it is now distrusted. The demise of confidence in the Fourth Estate is driven primarily by a significant drop in trust in platforms, notably search engines and social media. Sixty-three percent of respondents say they do not know how to tell good journalism from rumor or falsehoods or if a piece of news was produced by a respected media organization. The lack of faith in media has also led to an inability to identify the truth (59 percent), trust government leaders (56 percent) and trust business (42 percent).

Journalists, however, have seen a rise in trust

Where and how you get your news still matters.

This year, trust in journalism jumped five points while trust in platforms dipped two points.

trust in journalists
Edelman Turst Baromete

In addition, the credibility of “a person like yourself” — often a source of news and information on social media — dipped to an all-time low in the study’s history. Most likely, the falloff of trust in social and search, and of the credibility of peer communication, are contributing to the overall decline of trust in media.

“The United States is enduring an unprecedented crisis of trust,” said Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman. “This is the first time that a massive drop in trust has not been linked to a pressing economic issue or catastrophe like the Fukushima nuclear disaster. In fact, it’s the ultimate irony that it’s happening at a time of prosperity, with the stock market and employment rates in the U.S. at record highs. The root cause of this fall is the lack of objective facts and rational discourse.”


FULL DISCLOSURE: Quotes and some content come directly from a News Release distributed by Edelman

FULL NEWS RELEASE: https://www.edelman.com/news-awards/2018-edelman-trust-barometer-reveals-record-breaking-drop-trust-in-the-us

ORIGINAL SOURCE: https://www.edelman.com/trust-barometer