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What’s behind the decline in media trust?

Summarised by Centrist

New Zealand news media is facing a terminal decline. Many choose to avoid traditional news sources altogether. While Kiwis are still interested in news, they are increasingly disinterested in mainstream news. Why?

The AUT survey, Trust in News report for Aotearoa New Zealand 2024, indicates a sharp decline in public trust in the mainstream media, dropping from 53% in 2020 to just 33% in 2024. 

Respondents overwhelmingly believe news is biassed and unbalanced, too opinionated, and reflecting the newsroom’s political leanings. Moreover, the Public Interest Journalism Fund’s alignment with government agendas has further fueled distrust.

Commentator Bryce Edwards notes significant declines in trust for individual broadcasters has also taken place with ”RNZ dropping by 7.5%, Newshub by 7.8%, TVNZ by 9.4%, and Whakaata Māori TV by 14.6%,” he writes.

Edwards tips his hand in assigning blame for the crisis:

“The best place to start for the media might be to realise that there is actually a problem, and that it’s not enough to just blame this on others – such as social media, disinformation, politicians, or the public’s lack of media literacy. Real soul-searching should mean the media reflects on how it has allowed itself to be perceived as distant, elitist, and conformist.”

Read more over at Democracy Project

Image: journolink2019

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