Things are bad in media when people trust politicians more than media


The Media party like to think they are society’s guardians, protecting them from the ratbags and the politicians.

That is all well and good but what has developed is that voters have started trusting politicians, and their mates more than media.

For the first time, the Acumen Edelman Trust barometer has been conducted in New Zealand to determine the level of trust Kiwis have in their institutions and it turns out Kiwis are a very discerning and sceptical bunch, with trust levels ranking below our Australian and British counterparts. We also hold more trust in NGOs and businesses than we do in the media or government. And Acumen Republic say the findings in this study present opportunities for businesses to increase profit by lifting trust through doing more for the greater good.

Instead we have media descending into click-bait and stories sources from Facebook and Twitter.

Kiwis have the most faith in NGOs, which is the most trusted of the four institutions looked at, followed by businesses, the government and the media.

However, according to an Acumen Republic release, it also has the highest trust gap out of the four institutions, “which may indicate perceptions around a lack of connection or elitism with the mass population”.

As mentioned, the second most trusted institution in New Zealand is business.

The level of trust in business is 57 for the informed public versus 51 for the mass population.


Interestingly, journalists and the media are often seen to be untrustworthy, even though the media has long been called the ‘fourth estate’ and was put in place by people to be critical of our other institutions.

According to the survey, in New Zealand media is the least trusted out of all four institutions mentioned. The level of trust for the media sits at 47 for the informed public, compared to 38 for the mass population (see above), showing a nine-point gap.

This is slightly different from the global findings for which government, not media, is the least trusted institution.

The report shows New Zealand is also behind in the global trend of growth in online media, however, traditional media is not declining as quickly as it is globally and millennials are more trusting of digital media than the general population.


How bad is it that media are less trusted than government.

For 69 percent of New Zealand’s population, search engines are the preferred source for news and information.

Shame journalists still seem to have only a passing level of expertise in using search engines, especially for researching the people they are pimping stories for.

Trusting search engines seems to fit with the shift in the traditional notion of elites holding authority and influence and trickling information down to the rest of the population. Now peer-to-peer information is more influential than top-down information.

We are more likely to trust ‘people like me’ than we are a government official, board of directors, or NGO representative for example, with technical and academic experts being the most trusted.

Media like to talk about those in power losing control of the narrative because of them, but the reality is even the media has lost control of the narrative…because of people like me. Which is why we saw the Media party pile in supporting Nicky Hager’s book of illegally obtained emails. They just had to try and destroy me, as they saw me as a major threat. Nicky Hager made a fatal error in blackmailing journalists by saying he didn’t publish their emails between them and me so they would mend their ways. That was the signal for Matt Nippert, David Fisher and others to attack and try to exculpate themselves from that which they accused me of. All it did was reveal how inherently dishonest they were.

Dirty Politics revealed the players on the other side too, which in part explains why the general public distrust the media more than politicians. It is why I call them the Media party, because they have become active players in something that they should actually be the referee of. When they become players they are playing by my rules, on my turf. I will grow and they will lose.


– Stop Press

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.