In this new age of business models based on chasing huge scale online, should publishers even really care if their audiences trust them? From a purely business-focused point of view, the answer should be ‘no’. As evidenced by the Pew Research Centre findings, some of the least-trusted news outlets are the ones doing best financially, and there’s no clear correlation for the others.
From a journalistic and even an ethical standpoint, trust is something publishers should obviously strive for. But whereas in the days of limited competition among print titles having the trust of an audience was an imperative, in the new age of digital publishing it’s more of a nice bonus.