Over the past year, there has been a modest rise in trust levels across the world, noted the 19th Annual Edelman Trust Barometer. As seen in Chart 1, trust in NGOs, business, government and media by the informed public as well as the general population rose over the past year, though the gap between these two segments surged to record highs. However, despite this rise, trust in government and media continued to remain low as seen in Chart 2. The report is based on an online survey of 33,000 respondents carried out in 27 markets in October and November 2018. The informed public includes those who are college-educated and belong to the top 25 per cent of household income per age group in each market. The report suggests that fears of job losses continue to weigh on the minds of employees — though more so among those working in multinational companies (Chart 3). Respondents were worried about not possessing the necessary skills, or that automation would take over their jobs or that international conflicts over trade policies would hurt their companies, which might lead to job losses. A country-wise break-up suggests that respondents in developed countries were far more pessimistic about their future prospects as compared to those in developing countries (Chart 4). The report also shows that there has been a massive rise in news engagement.
As seen in Chart 5, 22 per cent were more engaged with the media than in the previous year. However, 73 per cent of them worried about false information or fake news. While traditional media continues to remain the most trustworthy (Chart 6), trust in social media has gone up over the past few years (Chart 7), though it remains low in the US, Europe and Canada.