According to survey data from the 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer search engines (read: Google) have overtaken traditional media as the most trusted source of news globally. Last year search engines were just behind traditional media but have now overtaken them.
This “trust gap” is most evident among Millennials, according to early release data seen by Quartz.
Hybrid media follows traditional media, which in turn is followed by social in the Edelman trust hierarchy. The PR firm, which has been conducting the survey for roughly 15 years, surveyed 27,000 adults in multiple countries. The survey covers a wide range of topics and questions.
Here “hybrid media” is defined as media sites or blogs that are fundamentally digital but which may aggregate and curate traditional news sources. Examples include Flipboard, TechMeme, Politico and Search Engine Land.
Below are the 2014 data, drawn from a similar sample and methodology. At the time search was just behind traditional media in public trust.
Although it’s not confirmed in the public-facing data, I suspect the explanation for the survey results is the convenience and perceived comprehensiveness of news-search results — also the perceived objectivity. However “trust” is a complex and opaque term that can mean a number different things to different people.
Google’s brand strength around the world is also likely a factor in these rankings.
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