Readers rate sources of information

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Who gets the credibility seal of approval? Turns out, we mostly trust ourselves and those closest to us.

Earlier this year, the annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey of 2,000 business and civic leaders in 11 countries, found those leaders ranked the most credible source of information as “a person like me.”  It went on to say that a personal web of trust that includes “friends and family” has supplanted traditional sources of information such as government, business and media.

This month’s survey of Oregon Business readers conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick found a similar trend, with 80% of the 715 respondents saying that “friends/colleagues” were the most trustworthy source of important information, with radio, Internet and print following. Television was in  last place. 

Tim Gleason, dean of the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism, finds it interesting that the Internet, which is unedited and has little quality control, is found to be almost as trustworthy as friends and colleagues. “It may have something to do with the fact that the Internet is seen as similar to friends and colleagues,” he says.

Gleason sees some of the Input results running counter to national trends. “There’s been a pretty dramatic decline nationally in credibility across all news products,’’ he says. Here, respondents ranked all categories as mostly to very trustworthy.

Robin Doussard, editor

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Research conducted by Conkling Fiskum & McCormick.

 

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