Public trust in institutions has hit an all-time low worldwide, a new survey has found.
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer has recorded a fall in public trust across the institutions of business, government, media and nongovernmental organizations, a first since the survey began in 2001. The survey has found that the general public does not trust the four institutions to “do what is right” in 21 out of the 28 countries surveyed.
Among the 33,000 respondents surveyed, NGOs are distrusted by 47 percent, business by 48 percent, media by 57 percent and government by 59 percent.
NGOs are distrusted in 8 countries and saw a decline in credibility in 21 countries. In 11 countries, NGOs are less trusted than business. Business is distrusted in 13 countries with its credibility falling in 18 countries. Media, which performed the worst, is distrusted in 82 percent of countries and has reached its lowest credibility margins in 17 countries. Government is distrusted in 75 percent of countries with its credibility declining in 14 countries.
According to the study, business is seen as the only institution that “can make a difference.” 75 percent of survey respondents agreed that a company could both raise its profits and improve socioeconomic conditions in the areas where it operates.
“Business is the last retaining wall for trust,” said Kathryn Beiser, global chair of corporate practice at Edelman Intelligence. “Its leaders must step up on the issues that matter for society.”
The 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer is the 17th annual trust and credibility survey conducted by research firm Edelman Intelligence.