Surveying audience trust
The media has taken a royal beating in the last year. The credibility of many outlets has been put into question. We now have a president that decries via Twitter “Fake news” while his spokespeople simultaneously share “alternative facts.”
While many of the larger brands have suffered, there are reports of local media sources seeing increases in audience. A Washington Post column this week titled “‘Drop dead, media!’ Trump fans yelled — then bought the local papers” outlines how some turned from their friends’ Facebook feeds and CNN to their local newspapers and television news as their go-to news sources.
That’s great news for community journalists, but suffering credibility for any is suffering for all.
So I am extremely excited about a project of which the Herald-Gazette was selected to participate. It is being put together by the Reynolds Journalism Institute of the University of Missouri and aims to learn from news consumers how they decide what news is trustworthy.
“We want to better understand the nature of trust in news, and we think the best way to go about it is to connect them with journalists in their own communities,” writes Joy Mayer, project organizer.
“It’s easy to rail about crooked media in general. Just like it’s easy for journalists to write off the complaints and concerns of their detractors. But both approaches will be harder to maintain if two human beings — rather than two representatives of warring viewpoints — sit down for a conversation.”
I have shared a link to a survey here as well as on our Facebook and Twitter. It requires you enter some identifying information, but your name will not be released with the findings of the study unless you are contacted for a follow-up interview and then only your first name will be used. No names will be used in any articles concerning the study or process published by the Herald-Gazette without prior consent.
I am eager to get a chance to hear from our supporters as well as our detractors. I hope if you’re reading this, you’ll click on the link and take the survey.
Your participation will help us serve you better. I want to say thank you in advance to our loyal readers who participate, but I would also like to ask for your help.
Please share the survey with people who are distrustful of journalism especially ours and might appreciate the chance to say why.
I am always striving to find ways for the Herald-Gazette to serve our community better so I can’t express enough how excited I am for the opportunity to be a part of this. So please, take the super quick, 14-question survey today. The deadline to take the survey is Friday, Feb. 24.