New Insights From Edelman Trust Barometer || NeoDrafts

  • Author : Jasmine
  • Published : February 14, 2023

New Insights From Edelman Trust Barometer || NeoDrafts

In recent years, the trend of people placing more trust in businesses than in the Media or the Government is on the rise. While the media has traditionally been seen as the watchdog of society, ensuring that the public is informed and those in power are held accountable, this perception is changing. Many people are now more likely to believe what they hear from businesses rather than what they read or see in the media.

The Edelman Trust Barometer is an annual survey that measures the level of trust people have in various institutions, including businesses, Government, media, and NGOs. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer was released, and it concludes that people have a higher level of trust in businesses than in Government or media.

According to the survey, 63% of respondents said they trust businesses to do what is right, compared to only 43% who trust the Government and 41% who trust the media. This is a remarkable increase from the previous year, when trust in businesses was at 56%, compared to trust in Government and media at 45% and 44%, respectively. The survey also found that confidence in companies is highest among younger generation, with 68% of respondents aged 18-34 saying they trust businesses to do what is right, compared to only 56% of those aged 35 and older. This suggests that businesses have a strong opportunity to build trust with younger generations, who will be the consumers and employees of the future. 

Reasons People Trust Businesses More Than the Media

Media’s Biased Reputation

There are several reasons for this shift in trust. One of the biggest is a growing perception that the media is unreliable and biased. This is not just a perception of conservative or right-wing individuals, either. Increasing numbers of people across the political spectrum feel that the media is not impartial and is often more interested in pushing a particular agenda than in reporting the facts. This has led to a growing distrust of the media and a corresponding upsurge in business trust.

Transparency of Businesses

Another reason people trust businesses more than the media is the increased transparency of businesses. In the past, companies were often seen as opaque and secretive, and it was difficult for people to know what was happening behind the scenes. Today, however, companies are much more open and transparent about their operations and business practices, which has helped increase public trust in them.

The Surge in Fake News

Another factor contributing to the decline in trust in the media and the rise in faith in businesses is the proliferation of fake news and misinformation. The internet has made spreading false information easier, and the media is often seen as a culprit. Many people now believe that they can’t trust what they read or see in the news and are more likely to believe information that comes directly from the source.

Social Media has brought Businesses Closer to their Consumers

Finally, the increasing use of social media has also impacted trust in the media and businesses. Twitter and Facebook, and other social media platforms have become significant sources of news and information for many people, giving businesses a direct line to their customers and the public. So, it is now for businesses to communicate their messages and build trust with their audience, bypassing the need for intermediaries like the media.

People trust businesses more than the media for many reasons, including perceived bias and unreliability in the media, increased transparency of businesses, the proliferation of fake news and misinformation, and the increasing use of social media. As trust in the media continues to decline, businesses are likely to play an even more significant role in molding public opinion and shaping public discourse.

Reasons People Trust businesses More than the Government

Businesses are Actively Responsive to Customers

One reason is that businesses are perceived as having a more direct connection to their customers and being more responsive to their needs and desires. Businesses also have a financial incentive to meet their customers’ expectations and maintain their trust, which is not always the case with governments. Additionally, people often feel that businesses have more expertise and experience in specific areas, such as marketing or product development, which can lead to a perception of greater competence.

Businesses Take Care of Customization and Needs of People Efficiently

Another reason is that businesses operate in a competitive marketplace where customers have the option to choose between multiple options. This incentivizes businesses to be transparent and accountable in their dealings with customers. On the other hand, governments are often seen as bureaucratic and slow to respond to the needs and concerns of citizens.

Businesses Acted Effectively During the Pandemic

The increase in trust in businesses can be attributed to several factors, including the response of businesses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many businesses were quick to adapt to the changing circumstances and provide essential goods and services to their customers while also taking steps to safeguard the safety and health of their employees. This has helped build trust with consumers and demonstrated businesses’ essential role in society.

Additionally, political ideologies and past experiences with Government and media can shape people’s views and trust towards businesses and the Government. It’s worth noting that while some people may trust businesses more than the Government, trust in both institutions can vary greatly depending on individual experiences and circumstances.

However, the survey also found that businesses must continue to work hard to maintain this trust. Trust in companies is higher among consumers who believe that businesses are transparent, ethical, and responsible. Consumers expect businesses to prioritize their values and principles and to act in the best interests of their customers and employees.


In conclusion, the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people have a higher level of trust in businesses than in Government or media. This presents an opportunity for businesses to build on this trust and become trusted community leaders. To do so, they must continue to be transparent, ethical, and responsible in all they do and prioritize the values and principles important to their customers and employees.

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