Politics is losing credibility in a global survey – people are even more likely to trust the economy with solutions.
Business and its representatives enjoy greater trust worldwide than non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments themselves and the media. Around the world, 61 percent of people trust entrepreneurs and managers to do the right thing. In second place are NGOs (57 percent), followed by governments (53 percent) and the media (51 percent).
That comes from the Edelman Trust Barometer 2021. Edelman, headquartered in New York, is the world's largest PR and communications agency. The survey was conducted online in 28 countries of 33,000 people from October 19 to November 18, 2020.
The questions asked were trust in four institutions: business, politics, NGOs and the media. In Europe, the survey was carried out in Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Great Britain and Ireland. Austria was not there. The survey has been carried out for 20 years and is an important early indicator for the development of confidence.
Covid and the consequences
The confidence report 2021 is of course all about the Covid crisis. And it basically rubs off negatively. Trust in the political and economic leaders as well as in the NGOs and the media has never been as low as it is today, said company boss Richard Edelman in the previous week on the US TV channel CNN.
57 percent of the survey participants believe that representatives of the four named institutions often deliberately tell the untruth. Despite the growing mistrust in the elites, the “economy” as an institution still has the highest trust bonus. According to Edelman, two factors play a role here. First, people know that the current crisis was not caused by the economy. Second: If anyone can solve the Covid crisis, it will be the economy.
In detail, trust in business representatives in India, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia (see graphic) is very high. It is lowest in South Korea, Japan and Russia. In Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany, the economy also enjoys below-average confidence with values between 50 and 54 percent. In contrast, the economy in the Netherlands ranks sixth on the global trust scale with 69 percent.
69 percent of the Dutch also have confidence in the political elite. Globally, the number seven means – the best value among Europeans. Otherwise it is noticeable that trust in those in power is highest in the totalitarian countries of Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates. The authors of the study explain this with the lack of political alternatives but also with the fact that the population in these countries has the feeling that the Covid crisis is being handled relatively well. This is followed by India, Singapore, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia and Germany.
But there is also an outside view. According to the study, the governments of the USA (40%) and China (30%) are viewed with great suspicion by respondents from the other 27 countries examined. The change from Donald Trump to Joe Biden had no effect at the time of the survey.
Social media bad
As for the media, all news sources have suffered a loss of confidence over the past year. Even more: According to the agency's study, people consider the media to be more untrustworthy than ever before. “Social media” is at the bottom of the scale.