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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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  • 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.
  • 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 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.

  • 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 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.

  • by cacba (1831766) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:56AM (#32675486)

    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 owlnation (858981) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:02AM (#32675516)

    Oh and of course, I do realise that the left has much bias aswell. But R.M. does take it to a new level.

    Bias isn't a reason not to trust a media source -- assuming you know they are biased. I completely trust Murduch's outlets, because I know they are biased and can read through it. That doesn't mean I agree with them, just that I know I can rely on the info to be biased in a certain way, and thus have an indication of truth, at the very least.

    It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased, but of course, is -- because all of them are. The BBC being the perfect example. They claim to be unbiased, but are very much not. It is, however, often hard to tell what their underlying spin is. Thus, I would never ever trust one single thing they say.

  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:19AM (#32675610)

    Also, from what I can see they never actually specify what we're supposed to be trusting them with? Our lives? Our children? Our cars? Are we trusting Microsoft, Apple and Google not to tell the world about that time that we accidentally wet the bed when we were really drunk and the three of them put our hand in warm water?

    Call me crazy, but a poll with such generic ideas of trust seems almost as useless as a poll about which type of tree people trust the most. Damn, those Nordic Pines look a bit shifty...

    Not really, trust in a general sense translates easily to confidence in someone doing their given task.

    If somebody asked me if I "trust" the main stream media, I would interpret that to mean they want to know if I trusted them to deliver unbiased reports about notable events around the world(or region of choice). What one would expect from an ideal news service.

    The answer would be "Ha ha... No" incidentally.

  • by Apple Acolyte (517892) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:42AM (#32675700)
    Yeah, the study sounds almost as flawed as the summary of it. Trusting Google more than traditional media is almost completely a non-sequitur. Google isn't of itself a source of news. There's Google News that aggregates articles from news sites, but Google doesn't have its own news bureau. The comparison between Google and "traditional media" implies that people were ranking Google as a news provider against traditional news sources, where in actuality that wasn't the comparison at all.
  • Re:B to the S (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Smekarn (1623831) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @06:46AM (#32675724)
    ...My point being that research like this will never get truthful answers, because people very often act very differently from how they percieve themselves.
  • by NickFortune (613926) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @07:01AM (#32675798) Homepage Journal

    Bias isn't a reason not to trust a media source -- assuming you know they are biased.

    I tend to disagree. A consistently biased news source is one that deliberately attempts to mislead its users. The trouble is that you don't necessarily know what the bias is on any particular subnject, or when that bias changes. All you know is that the data is unlikely to be reliable as presented.

    As such, the rational thing to do is distrust the baised source.

  • 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.

  • by something_wicked_thi (918168) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @07:10AM (#32675836)

    I'm not sure what your point wrt Enderle is. There are several predictions in that article, all of which are correct, but with some caveats.

    Apparently, Enderle said that Apple would switch to Intel chips by the end of 2003. He also said it would use Windows. He was wrong about the year (it was 2006), but Apple computers now run Windows as an option, and they are Intel chips.

    Enderle predicted Apple would make smaller, cheaper ipods based on flash memory. Right on all counts.

    He predicted that Apple would make an ipod that played video. Right again.

    Obviously, he was wrong about the timelines on most (all?) of these, but overall, I'd say that's a pretty impressive record. I certainly wouldn't have called the ipod moving to flash in 2003; at least, not for a long while. I also wouldn't have called Apple moving to x86. He was two years early on the first one and three on the second.

    Anyway, I don't think you were trying to imply that this poll is something that's insulted by short-sighted blogs, but is just a little ahead of its time. Maybe you meant it's the Fox News of polling?

  • 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.
  • by Comboman (895500) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:16AM (#32676214)

    I completely trust Murduch's outlets, because I know they are biased and can read through it ... It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased

    What part of the Fox News motto "Fair and Balanced" do you believe is not a claim to be unbiased?

  • by Moryath (553296) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @08:53AM (#32676472)

    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 time the Supreme Court decision that Corporations deserve the same rights as "people" was ill-informed, badly decided, and has caused many problems. The reality is that a "corporation" - especially a large one like Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Kraft, "Altria Group" (the rebadged Philip Morris), etc - while backed by people and an employer OF people, is itself a legal entity that is immune to 90% of society's normal legal remedies while at the same time carrying incredible power in being able to direct resources - lawyers, money, equipment, merchandise, advertising - in a tireless way.

    Thus, the first reform step necessary is to de-personize corporations.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @09:13AM (#32676702)

    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 supports my point, rather than because they are the best examples of how this process works.

  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:03AM (#32677232)

    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:Wow, really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iluvcapra (782887) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @10:36AM (#32677720)

    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 you what you want to know, or cared to look up, and then it gives you every site on the 'net so you can find whichever sites agree with your personal prejudice and use that to justify yourself. Despite many many studies proving vaccination is safe, people seem to find all the evidence they need that it causes autism; or that Barack Obama was born in Kenya; or that Israel was justified in attacking the Gaza flotilla, or the opposite!

    People like Google because it allows them to sustain and perpetuate their OWN biases. Instead of having to confront an opposing viewpoint, which may or maynotbe biased, they can use simply use Google to find authorities they agree with. Part of their preference for Google IS bias in media, but only part -- and it's simply too easy nowadays for people to simply shout "media bias!" without any supporting evidence whenever the news reports something that's inconvenient.

  • by jimbolauski (882977) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:42PM (#32680550) Journal

    What part of the Fox News motto "Fair and Balanced" do you believe is not a claim to be unbiased?

    What you fail to realize is that when fox news started using it's fair and balanced slogan was when cBS NBC ABC all claimed to be unbiased but clearly were, I have always thought of it as a jab at the other media outlets' bias.

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