Understand how media consumers and media professionals view themselves and each other. We learned a lot. Some of the results were not surprising (consumers see the media as biased). But much of what we learned was illuminating. One highlight we dive into is the skepticism consumers have toward the media has led to more media consumption—not less. More stories, more sources, and more channels. Audiences are no longer constrained by outlet loyalty. They’re consuming media in new ways and place heavy value on the “trusted” aspects of a story, asking media and brands to work harder for their devotion.
of consumers view media as biased
This jumps to a staggering 88% among media skeptics (51% of Americans)
of consumers want unbiased news
of consumers say data from a trusted source is the most important part of a story
“This research teaches a real lesson in how critical it is to earn our readers’ trust. We in the media need to remind ourselves that our legitimacy is in question; we can’t assume we come with built-in authority. Readers are savvier than ever, and can sniff out disingenuous content. In fact, they’re on the hunt for it.
But through these findings, we’re also getting a glimpse into the positive power of story-telling. Readers’ skepticism isn’t a disappointment, but rather a foreseeable evolution in keeping with the morphing of news. The challenge lies in mixing solid facts with a heartbeat—making a piece human and personal, while backing it up with intel, both the positive and the negative. Our stories become stronger in the end.
The fact that readers are diversifying their news sources presents great opportunity. Smaller niche and enthusiast brands can now claim equal footing with legacy lifestyle OGs. This opens up a bigger universe of experimental tones and delivery. It lets us play, and it gives readers a richer experience.”