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Study Finds Google Is More Trusted Than Traditional Media

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the it-must-be-true dept.

Google 155

According to a study by market research company Zogby International, people trust Google, Apple, and Microsoft more than the traditional media. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter scored lowest on the trust scale, but still soundly beat the media. From the article: "The traditional media received little sympathy from the public, with only eight percent of all adults and six percent of young adults saying they trusted them."

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155 comments

What about /.?? (1)

bronney (638318) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675198)

Ah no love?

Re:What about /.?? (0, Offtopic)

miggyb (1537903) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675218)

I wouldn't trust Slashdot with the stolen handbags and cars that I stole because I got introduced to peer-to-peer filesharing at a very early age.

The elephant in the summery (1, Insightful)

BluePeppers (1596987) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675214)

Who shall be the first to say it. Rupert Murdoch?

Oh and of course, I do realise that the left has much bias aswell. But R.M. does take it to a new level.

Re:The elephant in the summery (5, Informative)

cappp (1822388) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675398)

There are, as usual, some important caveats. This is the finding of a Zogby poll, a polling firm that Nate Silver fondly refers to as “the worst pollster in the world” [fivethirtyeight.com] and one whose methodology has been consistently critiqued. [fivethirtyeight.com] Further, it’s an online poll [zogby.com] that obviously elicits a very specific kind of response.

Given the aforementioned, the specific numbers hardly paint the picture the summary provides.

While Microsoft, Apple and Google were each trusted by 49%, the percentage expressing little or no trust was higher for Microsoft and Google (both 46%) than it was for Apple (35%). The percentage of not sure responses was higher for Apple (15%) than for for both Google and Microsoft, both 5%. Adults under 30 had the least trust in the two computer giants, especially Microsoft. Among First GlobalsTM under 30, 34% had trust in Microsoft and 41% in Apple. That age group's trust in Facebook (20%) and Twitter (15%) was also greater than that of older age groups.

I recommend you go over and look at the original report [zogby.com] yourselves, it makes some really odd choices – for instance lumping together “trust a little” and “not at all.” Similarly "The Media" represents some monolithic entity - which is also primed against given the pervasive creation and politicization of the catagory of "mainstream media" - whilst Twitter, Google, and Apple somehow deserve their own catagories.

Re:The elephant in the summery (2, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675470)

Nonsense, Zogby is the Rob Enderle [daringfireball.net] of polling.

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Interesting)

something_wicked_thi (918168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675836)

I'm not sure what your point wrt Enderle is. There are several predictions in that article, all of which are correct, but with some caveats.

Apparently, Enderle said that Apple would switch to Intel chips by the end of 2003. He also said it would use Windows. He was wrong about the year (it was 2006), but Apple computers now run Windows as an option, and they are Intel chips.

Enderle predicted Apple would make smaller, cheaper ipods based on flash memory. Right on all counts.

He predicted that Apple would make an ipod that played video. Right again.

Obviously, he was wrong about the timelines on most (all?) of these, but overall, I'd say that's a pretty impressive record. I certainly wouldn't have called the ipod moving to flash in 2003; at least, not for a long while. I also wouldn't have called Apple moving to x86. He was two years early on the first one and three on the second.

Anyway, I don't think you were trying to imply that this poll is something that's insulted by short-sighted blogs, but is just a little ahead of its time. Maybe you meant it's the Fox News of polling?

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676826)

My point, which you've handily illustrated, is that even though Enderle and Zogby usually spout complete bullshit, there are still many apologists suffering from chronic cognitive dissonance who queue up to use them as reliable sources because their random guesses are right half of the time.

Note carefully that Enderle wasn't "predicting" Apples' future strategy, he was talking about what they were just about to announce, and was wrong on every count. By that measure of success, I could predict that Ford's are about to announce a flying car, and in 50 years or so, I'll look like a frikkin' genius.

Re:The elephant in the summery (5, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675546)

Also, from what I can see they never actually specify what we're supposed to be trusting them with? Our lives? Our children? Our cars? Are we trusting Microsoft, Apple and Google not to tell the world about that time that we accidentally wet the bed when we were really drunk and the three of them put our hand in warm water?

Call me crazy, but a poll with such generic ideas of trust seems almost as useless as a poll about which type of tree people trust the most. Damn, those Nordic Pines look a bit shifty...

Re:The elephant in the summery (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675610)

Also, from what I can see they never actually specify what we're supposed to be trusting them with? Our lives? Our children? Our cars? Are we trusting Microsoft, Apple and Google not to tell the world about that time that we accidentally wet the bed when we were really drunk and the three of them put our hand in warm water?

Call me crazy, but a poll with such generic ideas of trust seems almost as useless as a poll about which type of tree people trust the most. Damn, those Nordic Pines look a bit shifty...

Not really, trust in a general sense translates easily to confidence in someone doing their given task.

If somebody asked me if I "trust" the main stream media, I would interpret that to mean they want to know if I trusted them to deliver unbiased reports about notable events around the world(or region of choice). What one would expect from an ideal news service.

The answer would be "Ha ha... No" incidentally.

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Insightful)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675634)

But the article compares trust in commercial companies with trust in "the media". Since they do totally different things the comparison is meaningless. I take your point that trust in a very generic way means our belief that they'll do their "given task", but the task of Apple, Microsoft etc. is to make money. And yes, I trust that they'll do that.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676504)

Exactly.

And I guess it's stupid meaningless articles like these why people don't trust the media...

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676898)

I'm reading it using Windows so I'm reducing my level of trust in Microsoft. I trusted them to filter this kind of crap in their operating system...

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676958)

Thank you both for pointing out what should be obvious to all.

I wonder though if your understanding of "given task" being "making money" is identical to that of those surveyed. I think there could be many commonly-held but incomparable views. When talking about Apple, I think of "developing good products" or "pricing products so they're accessible". With Google I'm sure many are concerned with "protects my privacy". With Microsoft (or RIAA), I think "practice fair business".

Unless the survey specifically states what it's asking it not be more pointless even if it were limited to technology companies, or specific types of those (software, hardware, search/online services).

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

fireboy1919 (257783) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676482)

Well...the poll is clearly trusting its readers to be able to glean the rather obvious context of "trust" from the question.

We're asking how much we trust news outlets, google, apple, and Microsoft to tell us the truth.

And I have to say, the news seems to have done a fantastic job at indoctrinating us with their crap.
Looking through this thread, I don't see a single article that differentiates between "bias" and "lies."

If we're going to talk about semantics, that's a lot more important. There must be a line of trust beyond which any transgression makes me trust that you're trying to fool me into believing something that you don't believe.
And past that line we're not talking about bias.

This is why I don't trust MS as much as traditional media. I know that they will never tell me when their product isn't suitable to my needs (which usually happens because it isn't ready for market yet). They want to sell it to me, even if they have to lie to do so. With traditional media, truth sells...some of the time, anyway. If a paper always lies, they're not going to have as many sales. With corporations, they just call that marketing.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676962)

Well...the poll is clearly trusting its readers to be able to glean the rather obvious context of "trust" from the question.

We're asking how much we trust news outlets, google, apple, and Microsoft to tell us the truth.

If that's the case then people don't seem to be doing a very good job of gleaning the meaning* of the poll. They really, honestly expect huge transnational corporations to tell us the truth more than the media at large?

I agree with your point that it's semantics, expectations and bias vs. lies that put all this into context. However, I doubt most people actually thought that much about it. I suspect that most would be willing to take the stupid poll at face value.

* As you read this I'm already taking steps to copyright that wonderfully melodic turn of phrase

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Interesting)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675700)

Yeah, the study sounds almost as flawed as the summary of it. Trusting Google more than traditional media is almost completely a non-sequitur. Google isn't of itself a source of news. There's Google News that aggregates articles from news sites, but Google doesn't have its own news bureau. The comparison between Google and "traditional media" implies that people were ranking Google as a news provider against traditional news sources, where in actuality that wasn't the comparison at all.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Ash Vince (602485) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676188)

Yeah, the study sounds almost as flawed as the summary of it. Trusting Google more than traditional media is almost completely a non-sequitur. Google isn't of itself a source of news. There's Google News that aggregates articles from news sites, but Google doesn't have its own news bureau. The comparison between Google and "traditional media" implies that people were ranking Google as a news provider against traditional news sources, where in actuality that wasn't the comparison at all.

You see to me this actually makes perfect sense and is an entirely expected result.

If I base my knowledge of something to s single news source, then I am only getting the person who wrote that articles perspective. However if I can read several perspectives on an event side by side (even if I have to click through to each individual site to do this), then I am getting a far more balanced view than I would by just reading one. News aggregation services like Google News are bound to come out looking more "honest" when viewed from this perspective.

The other reason is that most of the worst news services are not biased in the way the cover a world event, they are bias by simply not covering world events that do not put across the world view they want to encourage. This neatly gets round all the laws regarding balanced coverage that they would have to obey in certain countries. This is something that is completely bypassed however if you have an automated news aggregator that does not have a human editor who can be required to toe the company line.
Since Google specialise in automating the crap out of everything I would be very surprised if Google News worked differently.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676246)

If I base my knowledge of something to s single news source, then I am only getting the person who wrote that articles perspective. However if I can read several perspectives on an event side by side (even if I have to click through to each individual site to do this), then I am getting a far more balanced view than I would by just reading one. News aggregation services like Google News are bound to come out looking more "honest" when viewed from this perspective.

I agree with this... Which is why I like Google News... But I don't know why they'd include Apple and Microsoft in the poll. What do either of those companies have to do with news media?

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676606)

News aggregation services like Google News are bound to come out looking more "honest" when viewed from this perspective.

Really? Search for something non-contentious like, say, "Iraq". Almost all top reports are from the usual well-known list of mainstream news agencies and publishers (often Murdoch / government owned) - plus, of course, al "fill them with ex-Western media guys and let them carry on so we can pretend we don't have a news monopoly" Jazeera.

"Honest" would be links to stories from people who haven't been filtered through a million layers of military and foreign office smokescreening, e.g. reports from *shock* Iraqi and other more local journalists.

Google is essentially one big algorithm to reinforce existing human biases, and this applies to both web page sorting and news sorting methods.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676544)

So, a guy who got his start in blogging on the DailyKos is supposed to be a good arbiter of trustowrthiness?
Personally, based on Nate Silver's opinion of Zogby, Zogby has moved up in my estimation. If Nate Silver was able to get a following from the DailyKos, he has to be a complete leftwing nutjob, who says things that support the pre-conceived ideas of other left wing nutjobs.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677406)

If you're judging Nate Silver on anything except his demonstrated track record of statistics knowledge, you're an idiot.

The reason he can criticize Zogby is that he is better than Zogby.

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675516)

Oh and of course, I do realise that the left has much bias aswell. But R.M. does take it to a new level.

Bias isn't a reason not to trust a media source -- assuming you know they are biased. I completely trust Murduch's outlets, because I know they are biased and can read through it. That doesn't mean I agree with them, just that I know I can rely on the info to be biased in a certain way, and thus have an indication of truth, at the very least.

It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased, but of course, is -- because all of them are. The BBC being the perfect example. They claim to be unbiased, but are very much not. It is, however, often hard to tell what their underlying spin is. Thus, I would never ever trust one single thing they say.

Re:The elephant in the summery (4, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675600)

It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased, but of course, is -- because all of them are. The BBC being the perfect example. They claim to be unbiased, but are very much not. It is, however, often hard to tell what their underlying spin is. Thus, I would never ever trust one single thing they say.

Actually, it's not hard to read through the BBC's bias once you realise where it comes from. Because of the way it is set up and regulated, it is in a near permanent state of fear of being accused of bias, which means that it tends to give disproportionate prominence to the views of those most likely to complain. That means that somebody who says the Earth is flat gets equal time to somebody who says that it's round (exaggerating here, but that's the mechanism at work). Once you realise that, it's usually not hard to tell which views are those of people who know what's going on and which views are the screwballs'. What you can be pretty sure of with the BBC is that they don't make their news stories up, because the regulators come down on them like a ton of bricks if they do. Unlike the press, which invents news with impunity.

Re:The elephant in the summery (3, Informative)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675772)

Not quite but they genuinely do balance based on complaints.
In an interview I remember one BBC producer saying they try to end up with piles of complaint letters of similar size for each side of contentious issues.
So old nutters who send a lot of complaint letters do get overrepresented but the BBC isn't all that bad overall.
It's quite common to get lots of letters from both side complaining that a particular show was biased towards the other side.

Re:The elephant in the summery (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675992)

This is, to a degree, what they aim for, and does not contradict the grandparent. They regard a report as unbiased when both sides of the issue complain in equal numbers that it is biased towards the other side.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676364)

As far as an off the cuff, is that such a bad metric? I mean, assuming you could somehow balance against the vocality of each side?

A viewer will have a view that his heavily skewed towards their beliefs (hence how socialist US media is when viewed by a hard right-winger, except for Fox News which is fascist to the leftists out there). If the liberals all complain about your conservative bias and the conservatives all complain about your liberal bias with regards to the same piece, shouldn't that imply you presented a centrist/moderate view?

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676528)

As an off the cuff metric, it's not bad. The problem is that it only really works in issues where there is a real dispute. Consider the original poster's example of flat-earthers. If you write a piece giving equal weight to flat earth and round earth models, you will probably get the same number of complaints on both sides, but there isn't really any serious debate about whether the earth is flat - the Greeks measured its circumference fairly accurately several thousand years ago. In areas where there is no well-established objective truth, it works better.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677296)

Not really because flat earthers are such a tiny minority.
You'd get a pile of complaints from the sane majority and a few from the flat earthers.

It's main problem is that it tends to reflect the views of the majority more than the real situations.
The biases will more closely resemble the biases of the majority.

Re:The elephant in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32676230)

As biased as the BBC tends to be, there is a level of professionalism there that I find is typically lacking in most U.S. media companies. I honestly trust what comes from the BBC _far more_ than anything that comes from the likes of the FOX propaganda network. Of the U.S.telivised media, the only one I can really even consider as news anymore has been ABC, and even that requires a considerable BS filter to be applied. FOX has devolved from being yet another questionable U.S. media supplier to the American equivalent to Al-Jazeera...."news" in name only, and even then, JUST BARELY.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676410)

In my experience, the further to the right of right-wing your politics are, the more likely you are to distrust the BBC, call them socialist, anti-Semitic, what have you.

Re:The elephant in the summery (3, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675798)

Bias isn't a reason not to trust a media source -- assuming you know they are biased.

I tend to disagree. A consistently biased news source is one that deliberately attempts to mislead its users. The trouble is that you don't necessarily know what the bias is on any particular subnject, or when that bias changes. All you know is that the data is unlikely to be reliable as presented.

As such, the rational thing to do is distrust the baised source.

Re: The elephant in the summary (1)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675922)

Fox news claims to be 'fair and balanced'. I wouldn't have a problem with their bias otherwise. They should be upfront about it. I don't think any other news network crows about 'fair and balanced' whilst at the same time being so incredibly biased. That's what sets Fox apart from the other networks imo, even though the other networks are of course not unbiased either.

Re:The elephant in the summery (2, Interesting)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676214)

I completely trust Murduch's outlets, because I know they are biased and can read through it ... It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased

What part of the Fox News motto "Fair and Balanced" do you believe is not a claim to be unbiased?

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Blkdeath (530393) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676920)

I completely trust Murduch's outlets, because I know they are biased and can read through it ... It's much, much harder with media that claims to be unbiased

What part of the Fox News motto "Fair and Balanced" do you believe is not a claim to be unbiased?

ISTM that "balanced" and "biased" in this context are direct contradictions. But I could be wrong.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676574)

I agree with your general point that bias sources are still useful, and unknown bias is dangerous. But I don't think it follows that therefore the BBC are totally untrustworthy, whilst biased outlets aren't.

Firstly even though it is a problem that the BBC does have its unclear biases, overall I would still rate it as far more accurate, and less bias, than much of the media. Secondly, I don't think that just because you know a source is bias, means you can somehow factor it out.

How do you know that Murduch's outlets don't also have some unknown biases as well? It's a fallacy to assume that a non-biased source must have some hidden bias, but to also assume that if you know of at least one bias, that there are no hidden biases.

How does this apply to other kinds of sources? Would you trust a Creationist website over Encyclopedia Britannica on scientific matters, because you know the former is biased towards Creationism, but you're not sure what the bias of Britannica is?

Re:The elephant in the summery (2, Informative)

sorak (246725) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676796)

That is true, if the facts are being reported from a different perspective, perhaps with a slightly different emphasis. The problem with Fox News (I can't speak for RM's other companies), is that they have too many activists who don't care what the facts are. I used to watch Fox News, because I wanted to have my opinion challenged, but there were just a few too many times when I would have to go to my computer to fact-check the talking point that had gone unchallenged the past week, or to simply hear the other side of the debate, that I eventually realized that it wasn't worth my time.

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675666)

No, he doesn't take it to a whole new level, he takes it to a level, and that irks the left - "that's OUR thing."

Turnabout IS fair play. Get over it, pointdexter :)

Re:The elephant in the summery (1)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676712)

No, he doesn't take it to a whole new level, he takes it to a level, and that irks the left - "that's OUR thing."

Riiiiight...
Out there, all by themselves on the far right wing of American journalism, and their obvious and unapologetic bias is really only "a perception problem" of "the left". Please...

Wow, really? (4, Insightful)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675264)

People don't trust the propaganda arms of massive multinational corporations?! I'm shocked!

Re:Wow, really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675282)

I take it as a somewhat encouraging sign. Encouraging in that it shows people have the sense to distrust the media, but a little disappointing that they have any trust in Facebook and Twitter.

Umm... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675266)

Trust them about what ? And who the hell is Zogby ?

Re:Umm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675738)

And who the hell is Zogby ?

A name you can trust~ :)

Traditional Media...LOL (4, Interesting)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675268)

When the entire public hates the media with such passion as it seems to do now, shouldn't that be a sign to the powers that be that the system needs to be reworked? I know some people are deathly afraid of The Fairness Doctrine, but do you honestly believe our country could be more divided, mislead, and corporate-controlled than it is now? I certainly don't.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (4, Interesting)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675292)

The fairness doctrine is not really a good idea. It reinforces the whole two party system, which is never good. On the other hand, bringing back restrictions on corporate ownership of networks and market share restrictions, and preventing foreign interests from owning broadcasting (over public airwaves, no restrictions on cable/networks of course) is a good way to start undoing the damage. Check the correlation between who profits from the sathe sale of a book and who owns the shows those books are promoted on and you'll notice some not-so-surprising correlations.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (2, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676472)

No kidding.

The decline in trust for media correlates almost directly with the removal of media ownership rules - proscriptions on owning both a newspaper and TV station in the same town, proscriptions on ownership of multiple TV stations in the same city, limitations on the number of radio stations ownable in the same city, etc.

This is a natural outgrowth, unfortunately, of our fucked-up view on corporations in general. I'm not going to go with the wack-job "all corporations are evil" line, but at the same time the Supreme Court decision that Corporations deserve the same rights as "people" was ill-informed, badly decided, and has caused many problems. The reality is that a "corporation" - especially a large one like Microsoft, Sony, Apple, Kraft, "Altria Group" (the rebadged Philip Morris), etc - while backed by people and an employer OF people, is itself a legal entity that is immune to 90% of society's normal legal remedies while at the same time carrying incredible power in being able to direct resources - lawyers, money, equipment, merchandise, advertising - in a tireless way.

Thus, the first reform step necessary is to de-personize corporations.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (1)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675352)

Or they can rebrand themselves as part of the entertainment industry, just as what WWF/WWE did.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (3, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675648)

shouldn't that be a sign to the powers that be ...

Except that TPTB are even less trusted than the media.

do you honestly believe our country could be more divided ...

If you don't think it could be worse, that's just a limit to your powers of imagination.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (4, Funny)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675684)

That's right! Our public doesn't believe in a controlled, manipulated mainstream press, so the answer must be MORE control and manipulation!

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32676432)

The answer is not allowing all the wealthy politically radical right-wing extremists to buy up all the air waves and package their propaganda as "fair and balanced news".

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32676224)

If the public distrusts the media, it's because the media has earned distrust. They distrust the media because they are obviously slanted to one side. The problem has more to do with a monopoly. Historically, there were multiple papers; one for each party. So, you knew you were getting bias, and you had the choice to buy the biases you wanted. Now there is such a hegimony of one side that people crave alternatives.

I didn't RTFA, but would agree with the notion that the Internet provides the variety once had in print media. People trust the disparate view points because they don't claim to be impartial. People accept the bias because it is sincere, and can again chose which biases they can listen to.

Re:Traditional Media...LOL (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676602)

If you look at the history of the Fairness Doctrine, you will discover that the reason that the country was less divided while it was in force was because the Fairness Doctrine acted to suppress opinions that did not agree with the establishment by presenting them as ideas only supported by crackpots.
So, actually, the country was more corporate controlled when the Fairness Doctrine was in force (although it was more united).

That's nice to know. (3, Interesting)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675276)

Now I can write off Zogby International as a half assed, two bit of a chump market research company. So who paid for this research, Google, Apple or Microsoft?

Re:That's nice to know. (3, Interesting)

macemoneta (154740) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675408)

I participate in Zogby surveys, and I haven't even watched traditional news media in years. I trust Google News more, because it doesn't present a single point of information on a subject. I get a representative article, and then a link that gives me the details - "all 11,002 articles" on the subject. I can drill down as far as I want. Traditional media is a single point of view, with a single agenda; why would anyone trust them any more than a Wikipedia article with no citations?

Re:That's nice to know. (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676104)

I trust Google News more, because it doesn't present a single point of information on a subject.

That's because it's just a news aggregator. It's like saying you trust a newspaper stand more than Fox News because the newspaper stand offers you lots of different points of view. Apples and Oranges. The comparison just doesn't make any sense. Not that I'm blaming you, I just think the whole damn "survey" is a badly conceived pile of nonsense.

Re:That's nice to know. (2, Interesting)

cacba (1831766) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675486)

Notice how Zogby's survey only mentions "the media" and not specific companies. With the most noticeable of the media being television news and not the new york times. This is a wide class of companies with very different goals.

Apple, microsoft and google are engineering companies that create products with a function. Usually that function is achieved with minimal hick ups. News is very often opinionated and wrong.

PS might this be an online poll?

A very wise man once said (3, Informative)

NaCh0 (6124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675294)

Beware the Government/Media complex.

Say bad things about your master and you're no longer invited to the evening parties.

Nothing new (3, Insightful)

cybereal (621599) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675300)

News media has always been heavily biased one way or another. There's nothing wrong with this. The problem comes with the source of the bias. It used to be small news outlets trying to stick it to the community's most apparent "bad guys" like big business or the government. They were small and independent. However now, the largest and most influential companies in the world are the owners of the mainstream news media. Disney or Murdoch or it doesn't matter, most people know by now that the companies funding mainstream media are doing it for profit only, and have only that interest in mind. If you see something seemingly controversial on the news it's only because that organization feels everyone agrees (or at least, everyone they think watches their show.)

However, I find it worrying that people trust google. They are just as rabidly chomping at the bit of profit as Disney or NBC, or whatever. They don't have an altruistic plank in their yachts. They pretend to "not be evil" but regularly exert their dominance in public exposure via the web to piss all over other markets in an effort to clear a path for their own business strategy. They make things "free" so nobody can compete in conventional terms, forcing them into advertising revenue or similar structures and guess who has a huge monopoly on advertising online? Yeah... so before you go suckling the teet of google or similar companies, remember what it is they are after in the end.

That said, it's still more understandable to view a source like google as more trustworthy, but the problem is that google does not report on the news, they only repeat it from the other, less trusted sources, so it's sort of pointless to compare them.

When it comes to trusting information, it is acceptable to think the official source will be more truthful, even if occasionally they are not. News media gets a pass for some reason, maybe citing bad information, but authoritative organizations get panned for any lies, even accidental unimportant ones. So when an organization like MS or Apple or Google lies about something, it's either well known right away or it's well hidden, and the latter is much more common in my experience.

Not trusting social networking sites ... well that's just a surprisingly, unusually rational position to hold by the general public. Personally I "trust" twitter itself more than facebook, but trust the information less. I trust facebook to constantly try to screw me the way I described google doing it, subversively, for their own profit, under the guise of helping. Just see the constant quiet changes made to their privacy policies as cases where they didn't get away with it. Twitter is easier to trust just because they don't promise anything. You can protect your tweets, but that's about it. You can block followers but you know your tweets and most info is public. Twitter hasn't changed these policies, there is barely anything to change anyway. When I use twitter, I feel it's very obvious what my privacy expectations are. However, the information coming via twitter is less trustworthy than overhearing gabby women at the local mall. It's the same thing, really, except with infinitely more anonymity to hide your lies and innuendo behind.

Re:Nothing new (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675472)

Social networks depend on who you follow - they're just a medium, not the content producers.

I mean, I trust each message to come from the real sender, so the trust I deposit in each message is dependent on him/her, not on the social network itself.

Re:Nothing new (1)

iVtec (1726212) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675558)

However, I find it worrying that people trust google. They are just as rabidly chomping at the bit of profit as Disney or NBC, or whatever. They don't have an altruistic plank in their yachts. They pretend to "not be evil" but regularly exert their dominance in public exposure via the web to piss all over other markets in an effort to clear a path for their own business strategy. They make things "free" so nobody can compete in conventional terms, forcing them into advertising revenue or similar structures and guess who has a huge monopoly on advertising online? Yeah... so before you go suckling the teet of google or similar companies, remember what it is they are after in the end.

Your other points are pretty fair, but I fail to see how this one is sufficient to characterize Google as "evil" or "untrustworthy" for that matter. Google and other corporations have shown over a decade now that advertising and other means of revenue are a sustainable strategy. Redhat has made it in the top 500 by creating Free software. If competing in conventional terms is now obsolete and can't win against Google's model, as you imply, why hold on to the old structures? I'm not into demonizing successful companies unless they're being anticompetitive and Google is not one of those companies. They have stated that they can and plan to make money by "not doing evil" and they're doing just that. They're the most open to competition between the three corporations mentioned in the fine article. (Open Standards, Open Web, etc).

Re:Nothing new (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676148)

News media has always been heavily biased one way or another. There's nothing wrong with this.

Exactly. People who watch or read news from a source with a left, centre or right wing bias do so because it fits in with their world view. A truely neutral newspaper or programme would likely be seen as baised to the left by right-wing groups, and biased to the right by left-wing groups. In England if the Daily Mail isn't blaming Diana's death on the latest super-terrorist group then the middle-classes would have to find another target for their quiet anger.

"The Media", huh? (5, Insightful)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675316)

"The Media" is such a loaded phrase these days, that it's no surprise nobody "trusts" them. Years of politicians and everyone else slamming "traditional media", "Big media", "The Liberal Media", and "The Right-wing Media" mean that everyone associates "The Media" with whatever group they disagree with.

Liberals hate "The Media" because, to them, it means "Faux News" and all the other anti-facts news organizations they've been trained to hate.

Conservatives hate "The Media" because, to them, it means "The Liberal Media", which seems to mean anything OTHER than Fox News.

Is anyone surprised that everyone hates a loaded word? Why not just ask if people trust "Terrorists"?

Re:"The Media", huh? (3, Interesting)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675820)

"The Media" is such a loaded phrase these days, that it's no surprise nobody "trusts" them. Years of politicians and everyone else slamming "traditional media", "Big media", "The Liberal Media", and "The Right-wing Media" mean that everyone associates "The Media" with whatever group they disagree with.

I simplify it even more.

Look at the approval ratings for 'congress'. They've been dipping into the single digits lately. Yet ask people about their representative/senator, it's pretty much guaranteed to be at least double that of 'congress'.

Ask about Fox News, NBC, CNN, BBC, etc... You'll get higher numbers.

Google is spam (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675320)

Traditional media is coming to a natural end, no paywall, whether there own or Googles will save them, but to rate Google as trustworthy is like saying BP cares for the environment!

Well it's on the internet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675340)

so it must be true

There are different studies (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675382)

There are different studies: In Finland, young people trust newspapers far more than anything in the internet. 78 % say they trust newspapers, while 18 % say they trust internet.

This is a study ordered by Finnish Newspapers Association and made by major independent research company.

Bad google translation here [google.com] .

Re:There are different studies (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675838)

There's a HUGE difference between 'anything in the internet' and 'internet'.

I don't trust 'the internet' as a whole one bit. Still, there are specific sites I place a large amount of trust in.

I trust wikipedia, for example, about as much as I would an encyclopedia or public school textbook. Good for getting links and figures for internet arguments. Not so much for a college thesis, but a good point to start.

Re:There are different studies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675910)

Well, the parent article has the same problem: it compares Google with "traditional media". What would be the results, if they used Google vs. The New York Times?

Furthermore, is NYT more trusted on paper than on their website?

Re:There are different studies (1)

Shrike82 (1471633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676166)

There are different studies: In Finland, young people trust newspapers far more than anything in the internet. 78 % say they trust newspapers, while 18 % say they trust internet.

This is a study ordered by Finnish Newspapers Association and made by major independent research company.

Bad google translation here [google.com] .

Emphasis mine to highlight a potential problem with this study.

media = entertainment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675402)

the right wing media strokes the egos of republicans.
the left wing media strokes the egos of democrats.

forcing people to confront reality is a liability when competing networks are entertaining their audience instead.

Weaning your self from Google (4, Interesting)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675414)

Blasphemy you say! I've actually been actively weaning myself from Google recently. My stance is that you have all your data hostage unless you maintain active backups with a remote host (Google).

  • I now use ixQuick, a metasearch across many engines, supports HTTPS.
  • I am considering moving to paid email hosting, don't want Google processing my emails
  • Removed myself from Google Street View
  • Deleted my YouTube account in attempt to kill my video browsing
  • Blocked Google analytics and Google services at HOSTS level just in case a non-Firefox program attempts to access them

What have you done? What do you recommend? How do you become more self sufficient? Google are getting to big to be benevolent: they own Recaptcha, so even if you block Analytics, they have additional analytics from that.

They know who you are, where you live, what you think, who you're communicating with, where you're trying to go, what websites you're a member of, what you're trying to find out, what you're buying, what news you've been exposed to.

Re:Weaning your self from Google (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676412)

> My stance is that you have all your data hostage unless you maintain active backups with a remote host (Google).

I have my email with them, but I could pop3 it somewhere else if I was bothered. I'm not bothered.

> What have you done?

Nothing. I'm not on street view - at least, not near my house, and I'm not going to scan all of the UK in case it captured me when I was shopping or something. I don't even understand what you're saying about youtube - `kill my video browsing`?

How do you manage your paranoia problem vis a vis your ISP? I take it you only access the internet via an anonymous internet cafe, wearing some sort of latex facial mask, changing your VM and mac address each time?

Re:Weaning your self from Google (1)

improfane (855034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676584)

I am definitely privacy conscious. If paranoid means 'more concerned about privacy than you are' then yes.

As for YouTube, they definitely log what videos you visit. There was once this feature you could see what your friends were watching and what they are watching now. That's what I meant. They will montetize that.

Ad for streetview, check your home address. I felt uncomfortable with my home being there. Car, windows, etc. Maybe you don't, fair enough.

You refer to the UK. Check 192.com, see if your name, address and all your 'house occupants' are there. They take your local council's election register and put it online. (Even if you opt out)

If you're not concerned about privacy and rights, fair enough. We'll be concerned for you.

Twitter (2, Insightful)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675418)

Why don't people trust twitter?

It's pretty transparent and as honest as the people who post on it..

Re:Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32675606)

Twitter is as transparent as a piece of shit you finally manage to take after you've been constipated for a week. They too deleted accounts and removed flaming tweets. If you want 100% transparency, you have to put up with all the spam in the world, just so that you're sure you don't miss on anything important when someone (like Twitter) marks it as spam.

I bloody well hope this is a joke (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675614)

Why don't people trust twitter/social media? Because even the most Idols addled mind can figure out that a news source with absolutely no accountability or even traceability is totally and utterly worthless.

Twitter: A fly is in my room.

Judge this. You can't. It is is a claim but you don't know who claims it, if the person who started the account is still in control of it and have no way to verify or even know what room the person is talking about or if they can accurately determine a fly from another insect.

Mind you, most often when people claim they "trust" a media, they are actually saying "these people say what I want to hear". Someone who doesn't want to give up his SUV is more likely to trust Fox news when it reports global warming is a hoax. People react violently when exposed to a source of information that contradicts what they want to believe. And no, this is NOT just a right-winger thing.

With ever more sources of information it has also become very easy to completely isolate yourself from anything that distresses you. Back when everyone read their OWN newspaper, people at least READ the newspaper. Now kids get their info from twitter and facebook and nothing else. Their source of news, they idea of investigative journalism is "he heard that someone said".

Well RabbitWho shows this, he thinks that because the entity twittering pretends to be a "normal" human being that he/she/it is trustworthy. Because of course nobody could setup bogus accounts to start spreading propoganda over twitter or facebook. No, google bombing does NOT exist in social media. No guerilla marketting of political ideas. Some teen says something so it must be true because... why? How do you know WHO that person really is and wether they should tell the truth let alone the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Because the easiest way to be biased in reporting is to leave out tiny details.

Like how Turkey so upset about Israel killing Turks crossing into Israeli waters went into Iraq to kill Koerdish civlians at the same time. My my, how convenient their righteous indignation kept their own actions from the media. Convenient.

Twitter is a medium (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676668)

Twitter is a communication medium - saying you don't "trust twitter" makes no more sense than saying you don't trust phones, you don't trust email, you don't trust speech.

If someone emails you to say a fly is in their room, how can you trust them? Oh no, email is untrustworthy! You don't know who claims it, if the person who started the account is still in control of it and have no way to verify or even know what room the person is talking about or if they can accurately determine a fly from another insect.

If someone says they had a fly in their room last night, how can you trust them? On no, speech is untrustworthy! You don't know who this person is, if the person who lived in the room is still in control of it and have no way to verify or even know what room the person is talking about or if they can accurately determine a fly from another insect.

Or perhaps the issue of trust is not simply a matter of the communication medium? Moreover, not all uses of Twitter are between anonymous strangers, just as it obviously isn't with email and real life. All of the people I read on Twitter are people whom I know.

Re:I bloody well hope this is a joke (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676694)

> Like how Turkey so upset about Israel killing Turks crossing into Israeli waters

The flotilla was still in international waters.

Who told you they were in Israeli waters? Why did you believe them?

Makes no sense (3, Interesting)

hlovy (613473) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675608)

The article makes no sense. "Trust" in what way? It hints that they're talking about "trust" in the context of your private information, and not as a news source, but doesn't go out and say it. Also, Google is not a source of original information. It compiles news and repackages it from ... well, from traditional news sources.

How can I locate these people who trust Microsoft? (2, Funny)

shikaisi (1816846) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675652)

I can let them have the Brooklyn bridge for a wonderful bargain price. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.

B to the S (2, Insightful)

Smekarn (1623831) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675670)

My take on this is that the majority of people, when asked "Do you trust the media?" will answer that "No, I do not." However, in reality they don't think twice about the validity of what they read or hear on TV. It's one of those viewpoints people like to claim to have to sound educated, critical and thoughtful. Quite similiar to all the people who say "I don't judge people by the colour of their skin", "I make sure to check my damn sources on the internet" or "Homosexuality is fine" and STILL firmly grip their wallet when walking through areas were most of the minorities live, still buy any crap any aluminium-hat sells them and still wince at the sight of two men making out (but strangely rarely at LEZBOES.)

Re:B to the S (2, Interesting)

Smekarn (1623831) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675724)

...My point being that research like this will never get truthful answers, because people very often act very differently from how they percieve themselves.

Social Networking (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32675868)

Social network is to opinionated instead of fact orientated. Plus anyone can start facebook or twitter page get a bunch of friends and throw a bunch of information up there and swear its the truth and it might be all lies. Social networking is not a reliable place for important information.

the public is a teenage girl (1, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676046)

traditional media is her fuddy duddy middle aged father who has her best interests at heart, but she hates him

the web is her shiny new teenage boyfriend, who she's gaga over, but he's devoid of concern for her well-being and just wants to get in her pants

misplaced trust due lack of experience, that's all this study means

visit us again in 10 years, when as a jaded, betrayed, defiled, used, cynical, heartbroken 20 something chick, she looks at her dad/ traditional media in a new light

there's no shortcut to real world experience, and the curmudgeon killjoy screaming the truth in the corner is never listened to, which is all anyone's comments on this study amounts to

Re:the public is a teenage girl (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676684)

traditional media is her fuddy duddy middle aged father who has her best interests at heart, but she hates him

the web is her shiny new teenage boyfriend, who she's gaga over, but he's devoid of concern for her well-being and just wants to get in her pants

misplaced trust due lack of experience, that's all this study means

FYI, traditional media has been getting in her pants since she hit puberty, and only pretends to care about her wellfare. No wonder she's got no sense of boundary. Teenage boyfriend is starting to sound a lot better now considering he might grow up, but Papa has proven himself to be evil.

in what way is traditional media evil? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676734)

because its biased?

ALL media is biased, always was, and always will be. so by your definition of evil, everyone is evil, and always was, and always will be

so, just like a teenager's basis for hating their parents, your basis for finding traditional media to be evil is in error. someday you'll grow up, and realize the reasons for hating your parents/ traditional media are trumped up, hysterical, and pointless

Mainstream media is distrusted with good reason... (4, Interesting)

paper tape (724398) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676140)

Mainstream media is distrusted with good reason. It isn't just the bias that everyone knows is there.

Its that they've been caught, not once but several times, reporting stories they knew or should have known were false, as fact, because the stories in question supported that bias.

Spin real news according to your bias, and I'll listen and filter accordingly. Lie to me outright, and I'll never trust you again.

Re:Mainstream media is distrusted with good reason (2, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676702)

Its that they've been caught, not once but several times, reporting stories they knew or should have known were false, as fact, because the stories in question supported that bias.

It is more than that, in addition to reporting stories that they should have known were false (for example, the story about John McCain having an affair during the last election cycle), they have ignored other stories that had more evidence behind them (for example the story about John Edwards having an affair in about the same time frame) that turned out to be true, but didn't support their bias. I use these two stories because I don't have to do any research to be sure that my recollection of the details supports my point, rather than because they are the best examples of how this process works.

Re:Mainstream media is distrusted with good reason (2, Interesting)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677232)

The distrust of the media comes from a an inherent distrust of capitalism. The news media exist to sell advertisements and make money, so they report crap that will do just that.

This is why PBS and NPR are head-and-shoulders above any cable or network news agency.

trust google? (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#32676470)

not a chance, they are in bed with the NSA so when you "google" something you are also telling the government what you are searching/researching.

I wouldn't be surprised... (2, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677080)

...if those who distrust traditional media the most trust Fox News the most. Sort of like how every Fox News broadcast belittles the mainstream media when they themselves are the #1 mainstream media outlets in America.

Flame away.

It's the spin factor (1)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 3 years ago | (#32677112)

It seems as if I'm always looking for the spin on traditional media stories. Every since FOX News went rogue conservative it's created the same partisanship in the news organizations as is in our government. The divide seems to be getting wider too as media outlets pander to their "target audience" on either the right or left, while those of us in the silent middle search harder for unbiased reporting.
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