TV Airing Assurance: Is It Getting Harder For Viewers To Trust?

Does TV still influence consumers? Yes, according to TV advertising association the TVB.

It says local TV news programs are the most trusted -- slightly more than network TV news networks.

Which are the least trusted channels? As many surveys have concluded -- including this latest one -- that would be social media, of course, at just 43% compared to local broadcast TV (73%) and network broadcast TV news (69%).

Of course, we see billions of dollars in advertising still flowing into social media -- because the number of users and consumers of those sites are still very high.

'Is there any prospect of change in this dynamic? One would like to believe we are all getting smarter, that the uncertainty around “trust” is becoming clearer. 



But that path to trust continues to be filled with obstacles. It can be tiresome to get to that truth. And even then, who has the time to do the grunt work?

That's why bad actors continue to thrive and gum up the works. That is why many take the easiest source -- which is typically one that sides with their political and opinionated leanings.

With the last three Presidential elections, it seems Russian-based actors continue to easily manipulate content on digital social media sites and other platforms. This includes one now discredited key government FBI informant who has admitted to lying about Hunter Biden and President Joe Biden -- misinformation given to him by Russian intelligence sources.

Ah, yes! Not all misleading information needs to come by the way of a digital website. You can feed bad content by way of a human being who can communicate that with those of the U.S. Congress is looking for a good story to tell -- on TV. 

After all, isn't that still the way we can communicate  quickly with media hungry and very busy consumers? Tell your tall tale.

And, some a similar regard, wondering what, if any lower-valued content from those prospective U.S. congressional hearings would have meant to poor, overworked TV media agency and brand executives?

Social media is not so good. And neither are some TV networks, and other traditional media platforms. So where is the trust? Should we just bust up our viewing? Maybe ask Musk.

3 comments about "TV Airing Assurance: Is It Getting Harder For Viewers To Trust?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 6, 2024 at 10:23 a.m.

    Local News  is more "trusted" than national news because it's more about local happenings which most viewers are familiar with. National news--by the broadcast TV networks, in particular---- is about events happening far  away which most viewers know---or care---little about. Cable "news" ranks lowest in the polls becuase of its obvious political biases---left or right---and the comabtive nature of much of its content.

    OK, but does this mean that local news viewers pay more attention to comercials? Hey, TVB, why not commission a study by TVision to answer that imporant question?

  2. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, March 6, 2024 at 9:03 p.m.

    Excellent points about news viewers and geographic proximity of events. Another dimension is
    psychological proximity, which is a general "relevance" variable. Stated another way, viewers assess how relevant news items are to their lives, beliefs and values.

    An overly simplified example--if you have no family, friends or business connections in foreign country X, news about country X is less relevant...the brain basically says 'this news isn't relevant, no need to pay attention.'

    Without going into the psychological weeds, journalists should put themselves in the viewers' shoes and indicate how and why a news item is relevant. If law 27 is passed you'll be paying up to 40% or $2,000 more every year for health insurance.

    If news sources, generate stories relevant to viewers, the higher the likelyhood they will continue to trust and/or use the news source. When it comes to beliefs and ideas there's the whole issue of cognitive bias. But that is beyond the scope of this post.

  3. Robert Rose from AIM Tell-A-Vision, March 9, 2024 at 9:23 a.m.

    Great article. Excellent insights Ed and James. "A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest" - Simon and Garfunkel 

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