Detailed within the latest survey from the Edelman Trust Barometer group, online search engines, like Google, have globally overtaken traditional media as the most trusted news source. Taken from a sample size of 27,000 people among a variety of countries, approximately 64 percent of respondents trust online search engines for general news and information compared to 62 percent turning to traditional news for the same info. That’s the first time that online search engines have surpassed traditional media in the trustworthiness metric.
This shift is even more dramatic with Millennials, who polled at 72 percent in favor of online search engines. Of course, Google doesn’t actually report on news, but rather aggregate the most trustworthy sources that supply news. Online search engines also offer the advantage of accessing multiple news sources and viewpoints on a specific story, an advantage that’s difficult to match by traditional news networks, newspapers and magazines.
Interestingly, trust in news that’s posted to social media sites, like Facebook, still significantly lags behind both traditional media and online search engines with just 48 percent turning to social media for news. However, when news is posted by a trusted friend or family member, 72 percent of people trust that source of information. Millennials also spiked in the social media category with 59 percent turning to social sources for trustworthy news sources.
When users were asked about their first source for general business information, 30 percent turn to online search first with 26 percent turning to newspapers, then 21 percent to television. Online search also took the top crown when users were searching for breaking news on business, with television coming in at a close second. Finally, online search dominated other news options when users were seeking a source that would confirm or validate an important piece of business news.