The latest Edelman Trust Barometer for 2017 shows comprehensive collapse in trust around the world in 4 key institutions of any society: the Government (aka, the State), the NGOs (including international organizations), the Media (predominantly, the so-called mainstream media, or established print, TV and radio networks) and the Businesses (heavily dominated by the multinational and larger private and public corporates).
Here are 8 key slides containing Edelman's own insights and my analysis of these.
Let's start with the trend:
In 2017, compared to 2015-2016, Media experienced a wholesale collapse in trust ratings. In only three countries of all surveyed by Edelman did trust in media improve: Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. Ironically, the data covering full 2016, does not yet fully reflect the impact of the U.S. Presidential election, during which trust in media (especially the mainstream media) has suffered a series of heavy blows.
Similar dynamics are impacting trust in NGOs:
As per trust in Government, changes in 2017 compared to 2015-2016 show only 7 countries with improving Government ratings our of 29 surveyed. This might sound like an improvement, unless you consider the already low levels of trust in Governments.
Based on Edelman analysis, the gap between 'experts' (or informed public) view of institutions and that of the wider population is growing.
These trends are also present in other countries:
As Edelman researchers conclude: the public in general is now driven to reject the status quo.
All of the above suggests that political opportunism, ideological populism and rising nationalism are neither new phenomena, nor un-reflected in historical data, nor fleeting. Instead, we are witnessing organic decline in trust of the institutions that continue to sustain the status quo.