In #FreePress editorials published in newspapers across the country, writers stressed journalism’s role in a democracy, and that a free press is essential to a free society.
Yet our research suggests that if news organizations are truly going to close the trust gap, they must go beyond explanations of what journalism means to democracy and directly make the case for what it means to citizens.
As researchers and journalists, we launched The 32 Percent Project to explore how citizens define trust and how news organizations can better earn it. Named for the percentage of Americans who had confidence in the news media in 2016, the project was guided by the principle that the best way to discover what citizens want is to ask them.
We held public conversations with 54 people in four communities across the country, asking questions about what news organizations should do to increase public trust. Here are four insights from those conversations