Trust in traditional journalism in Ireland has rebounded by five percentage points to 53% while trust in search engines and social media platforms has plummeted by eight percentage points to 33% since last year, according to the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, details of which were released on 8 February.

The annual study shows that a significant majority (64%) are concerned about fake news while trust in journalists as voices of authority rose by 20 percentage points to 43%.

A strong majority of Irish people believe that journalists are meeting expectations in terms of investigating corruption (56%), guarding information quality (54%) and educating on issues (61%), according to the study

There has been a revival of faith in experts with academic (68%) and technical (66%) experts seen as the most credible spokespeople for a company. Trust in ‘a person like yourself’ dropped two points to 52% while trust in CEOs as a voice of authority increased by 14 points to 41%.

Business is now expected to be an agent of change, according to the study. 63% say that CEOs should take the lead on change rather than wait for Government to impose it. This show of faith in business comes with high expectations. 75% of respondents believe that producing high-quality products and services is the most important job for CEOs, followed by ensuring that the company is trusted (73%) and has high ethical standards (66%).

In Ireland trust in US headquartered companies fell by six points.

“At a time when people are struggling with who and what to believe there is a notable rise in trust in journalism.   People’s trust in social media as a source of news is collapsing, leaving an opportunity for journalists and bona fide experts to inform society,” said Joe Carmody, MD, Edelman Ireland.

Government is seen as the preferred institution to lead Ireland to a better future ahead of business and NGOs, according to the 2018 Barometer. Trust in Government is also increasing year on year and now stands at 35%.  Over the past five years trust in Government has increased by 15%, the largest increase of each of the four institutions during that period.

Manufacturing (61%) and education (70%) are the most trusted sectors, according to the Irish study, with financial services (29%) and automotive (44%) the least. The study also reveals that trust in industry sectors including technology, food and beverage, telecommunications, entertainment, automotive and consumer packaged goods declined over the past five years.

The full presentation is available to view here.

Joe Carmody, Managing Director, Edelman Ireland; and Josephine Feehily, Chairperson of the Policing Authority at the launch of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2018.