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Study Finds Google Is More Trusted Than Traditional Media 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the it-must-be-true dept.
According to a study by market research company Zogby International, people trust Google, Apple, and Microsoft more than the traditional media. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter scored lowest on the trust scale, but still soundly beat the media. From the article: "The traditional media received little sympathy from the public, with only eight percent of all adults and six percent of young adults saying they trusted them."
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Study Finds Google Is More Trusted Than Traditional Media

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  • Ah no love?

  • Wow, really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Walkingshark (711886) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:18AM (#32675264) Homepage

    People don't trust the propaganda arms of massive multinational corporations?! I'm shocked!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by iluvcapra (782887)

      What's remarkable is that the survey says people don't trust the "propaganda" of multinational corporations but they do trust a multinational corporation that keeps a record of basically everything they do on the Internet.

      Media bias exists but it's really just a convenient excuse. News media's real problem is that it regularly can confront you with information you didn't want to know or strongly disagree with, even though you need to know itif you're going to be a functioning citizen. Google only tells yo

    • The only trust the propaganda arms of small groups and individual people. ;)

      It’s what viral marketing is for.
      So I wouldn’t be surprised, if the future would hold a flood of blogs & co, looking like they are made by individuals, while in reality they are made by big corporations. (I bet money, that Elsevier already does this.)

  • Umm... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:18AM (#32675266)

    Trust them about what ? And who the hell is Zogby ?

    • by sorak (246725)

      Trust them about what ? And who the hell is Zogby ?

      It's a place that sells chicken.

  • by sonicmerlin (1505111) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:19AM (#32675268)
    When the entire public hates the media with such passion as it seems to do now, shouldn't that be a sign to the powers that be that the system needs to be reworked? I know some people are deathly afraid of The Fairness Doctrine, but do you honestly believe our country could be more divided, mislead, and corporate-controlled than it is now? I certainly don't.
    • by Walkingshark (711886) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:22AM (#32675292) Homepage

      The fairness doctrine is not really a good idea. It reinforces the whole two party system, which is never good. On the other hand, bringing back restrictions on corporate ownership of networks and market share restrictions, and preventing foreign interests from owning broadcasting (over public airwaves, no restrictions on cable/networks of course) is a good way to start undoing the damage. Check the correlation between who profits from the sathe sale of a book and who owns the shows those books are promoted on and you'll notice some not-so-surprising correlations.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Moryath (553296)

        No kidding.

        The decline in trust for media correlates almost directly with the removal of media ownership rules - proscriptions on owning both a newspaper and TV station in the same town, proscriptions on ownership of multiple TV stations in the same city, limitations on the number of radio stations ownable in the same city, etc.

        This is a natural outgrowth, unfortunately, of our fucked-up view on corporations in general. I'm not going to go with the wack-job "all corporations are evil" line, but at the same

    • by Psaakyrn (838406)

      Or they can rebrand themselves as part of the entertainment industry, just as what WWF/WWE did.

    • by petes_PoV (912422) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:26AM (#32675648)

      shouldn't that be a sign to the powers that be ...

      Except that TPTB are even less trusted than the media.

      do you honestly believe our country could be more divided ...

      If you don't think it could be worse, that's just a limit to your powers of imagination.

    • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:37AM (#32675684)

      That's right! Our public doesn't believe in a controlled, manipulated mainstream press, so the answer must be MORE control and manipulation!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      If you look at the history of the Fairness Doctrine, you will discover that the reason that the country was less divided while it was in force was because the Fairness Doctrine acted to suppress opinions that did not agree with the establishment by presenting them as ideas only supported by crackpots.
      So, actually, the country was more corporate controlled when the Fairness Doctrine was in force (although it was more united).
  • That's nice to know. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Stumbles (602007) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:20AM (#32675276)
    Now I can write off Zogby International as a half assed, two bit of a chump market research company. So who paid for this research, Google, Apple or Microsoft?
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      There are already enough reasons to write them off [fivethirtyeight.com]

    • by macemoneta (154740) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:39AM (#32675408) Homepage

      I participate in Zogby surveys, and I haven't even watched traditional news media in years. I trust Google News more, because it doesn't present a single point of information on a subject. I get a representative article, and then a link that gives me the details - "all 11,002 articles" on the subject. I can drill down as far as I want. Traditional media is a single point of view, with a single agenda; why would anyone trust them any more than a Wikipedia article with no citations?

      • by Shrike82 (1471633)

        I trust Google News more, because it doesn't present a single point of information on a subject.

        That's because it's just a news aggregator. It's like saying you trust a newspaper stand more than Fox News because the newspaper stand offers you lots of different points of view. Apples and Oranges. The comparison just doesn't make any sense. Not that I'm blaming you, I just think the whole damn "survey" is a badly conceived pile of nonsense.

      • I participate in Zogby surveys, and I haven't even watched traditional news media in years. I trust Google News more

        You seem to be unaware that Google News is nothing but a search engine (of sorts) for traditional news media.

        it doesn't present a single point of information on a subject. I get a representative article, and then a link that gives me the details - "all 11,002 articles" on the subject. I can drill down as far as I want.

        Which I suspect you probably don't do all that often, as if you do y

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by cacba (1831766)

      Notice how Zogby's survey only mentions "the media" and not specific companies. With the most noticeable of the media being television news and not the new york times. This is a wide class of companies with very different goals.

      Apple, microsoft and google are engineering companies that create products with a function. Usually that function is achieved with minimal hick ups. News is very often opinionated and wrong.

      PS might this be an online poll?

  • by NaCh0 (6124) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:22AM (#32675294)

    Beware the Government/Media complex.

    Say bad things about your master and you're no longer invited to the evening parties.

  • Nothing new (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cybereal (621599) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:23AM (#32675300) Homepage

    News media has always been heavily biased one way or another. There's nothing wrong with this. The problem comes with the source of the bias. It used to be small news outlets trying to stick it to the community's most apparent "bad guys" like big business or the government. They were small and independent. However now, the largest and most influential companies in the world are the owners of the mainstream news media. Disney or Murdoch or it doesn't matter, most people know by now that the companies funding mainstream media are doing it for profit only, and have only that interest in mind. If you see something seemingly controversial on the news it's only because that organization feels everyone agrees (or at least, everyone they think watches their show.)

    However, I find it worrying that people trust google. They are just as rabidly chomping at the bit of profit as Disney or NBC, or whatever. They don't have an altruistic plank in their yachts. They pretend to "not be evil" but regularly exert their dominance in public exposure via the web to piss all over other markets in an effort to clear a path for their own business strategy. They make things "free" so nobody can compete in conventional terms, forcing them into advertising revenue or similar structures and guess who has a huge monopoly on advertising online? Yeah... so before you go suckling the teet of google or similar companies, remember what it is they are after in the end.

    That said, it's still more understandable to view a source like google as more trustworthy, but the problem is that google does not report on the news, they only repeat it from the other, less trusted sources, so it's sort of pointless to compare them.

    When it comes to trusting information, it is acceptable to think the official source will be more truthful, even if occasionally they are not. News media gets a pass for some reason, maybe citing bad information, but authoritative organizations get panned for any lies, even accidental unimportant ones. So when an organization like MS or Apple or Google lies about something, it's either well known right away or it's well hidden, and the latter is much more common in my experience.

    Not trusting social networking sites ... well that's just a surprisingly, unusually rational position to hold by the general public. Personally I "trust" twitter itself more than facebook, but trust the information less. I trust facebook to constantly try to screw me the way I described google doing it, subversively, for their own profit, under the guise of helping. Just see the constant quiet changes made to their privacy policies as cases where they didn't get away with it. Twitter is easier to trust just because they don't promise anything. You can protect your tweets, but that's about it. You can block followers but you know your tweets and most info is public. Twitter hasn't changed these policies, there is barely anything to change anyway. When I use twitter, I feel it's very obvious what my privacy expectations are. However, the information coming via twitter is less trustworthy than overhearing gabby women at the local mall. It's the same thing, really, except with infinitely more anonymity to hide your lies and innuendo behind.

    • Social networks depend on who you follow - they're just a medium, not the content producers.

      I mean, I trust each message to come from the real sender, so the trust I deposit in each message is dependent on him/her, not on the social network itself.

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)

      News media has always been heavily biased one way or another. There's nothing wrong with this.

      Exactly. People who watch or read news from a source with a left, centre or right wing bias do so because it fits in with their world view. A truely neutral newspaper or programme would likely be seen as baised to the left by right-wing groups, and biased to the right by left-wing groups. In England if the Daily Mail isn't blaming Diana's death on the latest super-terrorist group then the middle-classes would have to find another target for their quiet anger.

      • People who watch or read news from a source with a left, centre or right wing bias do so because it fits in with their world view.

        This is almost certainly true and it disturbs me greatly... I've never understood the desire that most people seem to have to be told what they already know/believe. I want to be constantly told things that I DON'T know or believe. That gives me a chance to argue, debate, and ultimately learn (either reinforcing or weakening my current viewpoint, or perhaps even turning it around completely if presented with strong enough evidence).

  • "The Media", huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheEyes (1686556) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:25AM (#32675316)

    "The Media" is such a loaded phrase these days, that it's no surprise nobody "trusts" them. Years of politicians and everyone else slamming "traditional media", "Big media", "The Liberal Media", and "The Right-wing Media" mean that everyone associates "The Media" with whatever group they disagree with.

    Liberals hate "The Media" because, to them, it means "Faux News" and all the other anti-facts news organizations they've been trained to hate.

    Conservatives hate "The Media" because, to them, it means "The Liberal Media", which seems to mean anything OTHER than Fox News.

    Is anyone surprised that everyone hates a loaded word? Why not just ask if people trust "Terrorists"?

    • Re:"The Media", huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Firethorn (177587) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @07:05AM (#32675820) Homepage Journal

      "The Media" is such a loaded phrase these days, that it's no surprise nobody "trusts" them. Years of politicians and everyone else slamming "traditional media", "Big media", "The Liberal Media", and "The Right-wing Media" mean that everyone associates "The Media" with whatever group they disagree with.

      I simplify it even more.

      Look at the approval ratings for 'congress'. They've been dipping into the single digits lately. Yet ask people about their representative/senator, it's pretty much guaranteed to be at least double that of 'congress'.

      Ask about Fox News, NBC, CNN, BBC, etc... You'll get higher numbers.

  • Does marketing research count as traditional media?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:34AM (#32675382)

    There are different studies: In Finland, young people trust newspapers far more than anything in the internet. 78 % say they trust newspapers, while 18 % say they trust internet.

    This is a study ordered by Finnish Newspapers Association and made by major independent research company.

    Bad google translation here [google.com].

    • by Firethorn (177587)

      There's a HUGE difference between 'anything in the internet' and 'internet'.

      I don't trust 'the internet' as a whole one bit. Still, there are specific sites I place a large amount of trust in.

      I trust wikipedia, for example, about as much as I would an encyclopedia or public school textbook. Good for getting links and figures for internet arguments. Not so much for a college thesis, but a good point to start.

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)

      There are different studies: In Finland, young people trust newspapers far more than anything in the internet. 78 % say they trust newspapers, while 18 % say they trust internet.

      This is a study ordered by Finnish Newspapers Association and made by major independent research company.

      Bad google translation here [google.com].

      Emphasis mine to highlight a potential problem with this study.

  • by improfane (855034) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:40AM (#32675414) Journal

    Blasphemy you say! I've actually been actively weaning myself from Google recently. My stance is that you have all your data hostage unless you maintain active backups with a remote host (Google).

    • I now use ixQuick, a metasearch across many engines, supports HTTPS.
    • I am considering moving to paid email hosting, don't want Google processing my emails
    • Removed myself from Google Street View
    • Deleted my YouTube account in attempt to kill my video browsing
    • Blocked Google analytics and Google services at HOSTS level just in case a non-Firefox program attempts to access them

    What have you done? What do you recommend? How do you become more self sufficient? Google are getting to big to be benevolent: they own Recaptcha, so even if you block Analytics, they have additional analytics from that.

    They know who you are, where you live, what you think, who you're communicating with, where you're trying to go, what websites you're a member of, what you're trying to find out, what you're buying, what news you've been exposed to.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      They know who you are,

      By name and number only, not personality.

      where you live,

      So does anyone with a phone book. I really don't care. I don't expect Google or anyone else to come kick in my door anytime soon.

      what you think

      No, they really don't. If they think they do, they are terribly mistaken. If anyone thinks they can know what a person thinks, based purely by their actions on the internet, they are seriously underestimating the process of thinking within the human mind.

      who you're communicating with

      Correction, they know who I am communicating with on the internet. That's very diff

  • Twitter (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RabbitWho (1805112)
    Why don't people trust twitter?

    It's pretty transparent and as honest as the people who post on it..
    • by Psaakyrn (838406)

      People aren't very transparent, nor honest.

    • Why don't people trust twitter/social media? Because even the most Idols addled mind can figure out that a news source with absolutely no accountability or even traceability is totally and utterly worthless.

      Twitter: A fly is in my room.

      Judge this. You can't. It is is a claim but you don't know who claims it, if the person who started the account is still in control of it and have no way to verify or even know what room the person is talking about or if they can accurately determine a fly from another inse

      • > Like how Turkey so upset about Israel killing Turks crossing into Israeli waters

        The flotilla was still in international waters.

        Who told you they were in Israeli waters? Why did you believe them?

  • More trusted or less distrusted?

  • Makes no sense (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hlovy (613473) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:19AM (#32675608) Homepage
    The article makes no sense. "Trust" in what way? It hints that they're talking about "trust" in the context of your private information, and not as a news source, but doesn't go out and say it. Also, Google is not a source of original information. It compiles news and repackages it from ... well, from traditional news sources.
  • I can let them have the Brooklyn bridge for a wonderful bargain price. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
  • B to the S (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Smekarn (1623831)
    My take on this is that the majority of people, when asked "Do you trust the media?" will answer that "No, I do not." However, in reality they don't think twice about the validity of what they read or hear on TV. It's one of those viewpoints people like to claim to have to sound educated, critical and thoughtful. Quite similiar to all the people who say "I don't judge people by the colour of their skin", "I make sure to check my damn sources on the internet" or "Homosexuality is fine" and STILL firmly grip
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Smekarn (1623831)
      ...My point being that research like this will never get truthful answers, because people very often act very differently from how they percieve themselves.
  • traditional media is her fuddy duddy middle aged father who has her best interests at heart, but she hates him

    the web is her shiny new teenage boyfriend, who she's gaga over, but he's devoid of concern for her well-being and just wants to get in her pants

    misplaced trust due lack of experience, that's all this study means

    visit us again in 10 years, when as a jaded, betrayed, defiled, used, cynical, heartbroken 20 something chick, she looks at her dad/ traditional media in a new light

    there's no shortcut to re

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      traditional media is her fuddy duddy middle aged father who has her best interests at heart, but she hates him

      the web is her shiny new teenage boyfriend, who she's gaga over, but he's devoid of concern for her well-being and just wants to get in her pants

      misplaced trust due lack of experience, that's all this study means

      FYI, traditional media has been getting in her pants since she hit puberty, and only pretends to care about her wellfare. No wonder she's got no sense of boundary. Teenage boyfriend is starting to sound a lot better now considering he might grow up, but Papa has proven himself to be evil.

      • because its biased?

        ALL media is biased, always was, and always will be. so by your definition of evil, everyone is evil, and always was, and always will be

        so, just like a teenager's basis for hating their parents, your basis for finding traditional media to be evil is in error. someday you'll grow up, and realize the reasons for hating your parents/ traditional media are trumped up, hysterical, and pointless

        • by Culture20 (968837)
          I wasn't referring to political/social bias. Instead I was thinking of commercial bias: advertising and how ads creep into "news". The concept of Slashvertisements didn't begin with /., only the unique name.
        • I like your analogy on this one, but I am not sure the media can, any longer, be cast as the fuddy-duddy middle aged parent. Rather, I think they could be better cast of the overly-dramatic, never quite learned how to speak without hyperbole, middle aged parent. Don't get me wrong, I know that mainstream media really does try to report the news and the facts to some degree or another. It just seems to me like they present it, at least in my lifetime, like a bunch of deranged 16 y/o girls that always think e
  • by paper tape (724398) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:07AM (#32676140)
    Mainstream media is distrusted with good reason. It isn't just the bias that everyone knows is there.

    Its that they've been caught, not once but several times, reporting stories they knew or should have known were false, as fact, because the stories in question supported that bias.

    Spin real news according to your bias, and I'll listen and filter accordingly. Lie to me outright, and I'll never trust you again.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Its that they've been caught, not once but several times, reporting stories they knew or should have known were false, as fact, because the stories in question supported that bias.

      It is more than that, in addition to reporting stories that they should have known were false (for example, the story about John McCain having an affair during the last election cycle), they have ignored other stories that had more evidence behind them (for example the story about John Edwards having an affair in about the same time frame) that turned out to be true, but didn't support their bias. I use these two stories because I don't have to do any research to be sure that my recollection of the details

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stewbacca (1033764)

      The distrust of the media comes from a an inherent distrust of capitalism. The news media exist to sell advertisements and make money, so they report crap that will do just that.

      This is why PBS and NPR are head-and-shoulders above any cable or network news agency.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jbeach (852844)
      Mistrusted with good reason indeed. Such as, say, specifically the **entire run up to war in Iraq**.

      That pretty much killed all sympathy for the traditional media for me. If I hadn't been fortunate enough to be cynical AND not trust traditional media, I would have been manipulated by fear and anger by what felt like most of the rest of America - which was itself a media-created exaggeration. There were so many dissenting voices, simply ignored.

      I mean, tens of thousands march on a street to protest the
  • not a chance, they are in bed with the NSA so when you "google" something you are also telling the government what you are searching/researching.
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:49AM (#32677080)

    ...if those who distrust traditional media the most trust Fox News the most. Sort of like how every Fox News broadcast belittles the mainstream media when they themselves are the #1 mainstream media outlets in America.

    Flame away.

  • It makes no sense to compare trust of "the Media" (a collection of independent institutions) to trust of Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter as individual institutions.

    This is much the same mistake that is commonly made when people pretend that approval ratings of the President are directly comparable to approval ratings of the Congress, such that one can draw meaningful conclusions from the latter being less than the former at any point in time.

    That anyone thinks this is newsworthy as anything

  • This is what happens when you feel that every story needs "balance" and you give idiots with false information voice whenever they have an opposing agenda and/or a press release. The media walks a fine line distinguishing between legitimate dissent and encouraging stupidity. In the last few decades, it has become lazy, has abrogated its responsibility as fact checker, and has moved heavily into the "encouraging stupidity" side. Publish enough untruths and people stop trusting you. QED.

  • Depends what they mean by "traditional media" - I'd trust that Nigerian fellow that keeps emailing me to manage my finances before I trusted any output from the Murdoch empire.
  • I wouldn't trust Google either.... I only trust information from the Alternative media anymore!

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius

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