Doing journalism in the current climate of mistrust and suspicion can feel like rowing a small boat in an increasingly choppy sea. We’re rowing as hard as we can, just as we were taught, yet still getting tossed around and even overboard. While we row, we might be longing for the good old days of calmer waters, in which journalists (with fully staffed newsrooms) were seen as trusted, authoritative sources of nonpartisan information.
Trust in the news media has been dropping since the late 1970s, and we unfortunately can’t be magically transported back a few decades. But at Trusting News, we’re learning a lot about what we CAN do to calm the stormy sea that is our relationship with the public. We’ve worked with dozens of newsrooms on strategies for building trust, demonstrating credibility and getting credit for their work.
We don’t have all the answers, but we do have a tall lighthouse with a strong beam. Our mission is to be a beacon for newsrooms willing to navigate this territory rather than just hoping the seas calm down on their own. It’s journalists’ responsibility to take ownership over this problem. (If not us, who?)