Survey: Australians trust ABC, distrust Facebook

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A survey conducted by Roy Morgan reveals that while Facebook – and social media generally – remains deeply distrusted in Australia, whilst ABC, the country’s national broadcaster, is still by far the nation’s most trusted media organisation.

Almost half of all Australians (44 per cent) distrust social media, compared to only 7 per cent who distrust the ABC.

The 2019 results do, however, reveal an improvement in Facebook’s levels of distrust since the inaugural 2018 survey. In this survey Facebook enjoys a 33 per cent decrease in its level of distrust, while its trust remains steady.

According to Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine, trust is now firmly on corporate Australia’s agenda, “But distrust is the critical measure everyone’s ignoring,” she said.

“The absence of the voices discussing distrust should be alarming every CEO and company director. Distrust is where our deepest fears, pain, and betrayal surface – the shock of discovering we were foolish to trust too much. And nowhere is that sense of betrayal more profound than in our media brands.  When we subtract distrust from trust to achieve a Net Trust Score or NTS, we reveal a minus NTS for the Australian media industry, indicating that more Australians distrust the media industry than trust it,” Levine said.

“In a world filled with so-called fake news, tracking real distrust is now a material issue for boards and the top management of media brands,” continued Levine. “The consistently strong NTS performance by the ABC demonstrates that ‘real news’ is significantly more trusted by Australians than the ‘fake news’ promulgated on social media.”

After the ABC, SBS is Australia’s second most trusted media owner. Schwartz media follows in third place, with Macquarie media in fourth, as the only two other media owners with a positive NTS.

SBS is also Australia’s most trusted commercial television network with an NTS of +9 – well ahead of the other three commercial networks, all with an NTS of between minus 3 and minus 6.


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