Trusting the creator or communicator of information you receive is paramount to belief in a) the source and b) the information itself.
You’re more likely to accept what you see or hear when you trust the source.
So when you hear of behaviours like this by mainstream media, is your trust shaken?
- Channel 4 admits faking Ramsay scene. A scene in Gordon Ramsay’s TV series The F Word was faked to make it look as if the chef had caught several fish at sea, Channel 4 has admitted. He was filmed during an expedition into coastal waters, returning to the shore with a number of sea bass. But it has emerged that a spearfishing expert set sail beforehand to guarantee Ramsay had something to cook. “We regret that viewers may feel they were let down on this occasion,” a Channel 4 spokeswoman said.
- BBC’s Queen row deepens. The BBC Trust has asked director general Mark Thompson to give a full explanation after the corporation was forced to apologise to the Queen after implying she stormed out of a photoshoot with photographer Annie Leibovitz. Mr Thompson has been told to give trustees an account at their meeting next week of the events leading up to yesterday’s BBC1 autumn launch for journalists in which two scenes from forthcoming documentary series A Year with the Queen were spliced together.
- BBC head warns Queen row risks public trust. The director general of the BBC has warned the corporation’s 25,000 staff that it had jeopardised the trust of the public because of the row over misrepresenting the Queen. In a hard-hitting email, a copy of which has been passed to The Daily Telegraph, Mark Thompson said that the BBC had to put its house in order urgently. The humiliating apology to the Queen came only days after the BBC was fined £50,000 for cheating on a phone-in on Blue Peter, the children’s programme.
- Blue Peter admits phone-in fake. The presenters of Blue Peter were forced to apologise on air yesterday after it emerged that the programme faked the winner of a phone-in competition. Nearly 14,000 children called to answer a question posed on November 27 last year and were charged 10p a time, but a technical failure prevented the BBC from picking a winner during the programme. It is understood that, in panic, a member of the production staff randomly picked a girl who was visiting the studio to call from behind the scenes to give the correct answer. When the girl went on air she declared herself to be “calling from London” – in reality she was in the same studio as the presenters. The child was then given a toy as a prize. She has not been named and is understood to be blameless.
And these are just the stories in the news during the past week.
I would imagine that trust scores for this branch of mainstream media in surveys like the Edelman Trust Barometer will show a fall when the next ones are produced.
Edelman’s 2007 report says this:
Traditional media sources such as newspapers, TV, and radio remain more credible than new media sources such as a company’s own Web site and blogs.
Behaviours such as the ones outlined here will contribute to changes in how people see that credibility, I’m certain.