The earth is flat.
The moon landing was a hoax.
The election was stolen.
Vaccines cause autism.
Jet airplanes are spreading biological agents.
Those are just five widely and consistently discredited claims for which significant support remains in vast sections of the public. And when mainstream media try to debunk them, we become the targets.
Why has media distrust grown in recent years? And is there anything rank-and-file journalists can do about it?
In this virtual panel (Hosted live on Oct. 3, 2023), we unpack the myriad of factors contributing to media distrust, and examine some ways it might begin to be restored.
- Gerard Baker, Editor-at-Large, The Wall Street Journal, where he authors the weekly op-ed “Free Expression.” Mr. Baker titled a recent column “How American Institutions Went From Trust to Bust,” where he argued the biggest factor driving mistrust is the widening cultural gap between the people who have led and thrived in our major institutions and the rest of the population. He is a past Deadline Club Awards keynote speaker.
- Joy Mayer, founder of Trusting News, a project that trains journalists to demonstrate credibility and earn trust in their day-to-day work. Ms. Mayer spent 20 years in newsrooms as well as teaching at the Missouri School of Journalism, and currently conducts an online course entitled “How Any Journalist Can Earn Trust” in association with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and the American Press Institute.
- Rod Hicks, SPJ’s Director of Ethics and Diversity. Several years ago Mr. Hicks organized one of the most unorthodox SPJ programs ever – The Casper Project, which took a deep dive into the sources of media distrust. The initiative was centered in Casper, Wyoming, the state that according to Gallup ranks the highest in citizen mistrust of the media.
The moderator of this panel was Steve Dunlop, former anchor/correspondent, CBS News, Reuters, NBC and Fox 5 New York, and a former Deadline Club president – @dunlopmedia.
Watch the full event below or on the Deadline Club YouTube channel. For information on future events and more, follow us online at Deadlineclub.org.