Information has become as necessary as food and clothing, and today’s staple of news has moved from the traditional to multi-channeled and instantaneous sources. Despite this, well established print and TV news continue to grow as major sources of news information. This is probably because the traditional media are non-intrusive, convenient and habit-forming, making readers and viewers quite glued to them once used to the source.
The role of the ‘skeptic’ media as a true watchdog of society requires that the trust placed in the source is paramount. But there are only 6 news media brands featured among the top 300 Most Trusted Brands of India (with the most trusted media brand being The Times of India, ranked far down at 151). Aaj Tak, the Hindi news channel from India Today group, is the second most trusted media with NDTV, DNA and India Today at 3rd, 4th and 5th positions on Brand Trust respectively,
Anandabazar Patrika is the surprise entrant, and with only a regional presence, makes an entry with an All India Brand Trust Rank of 298.
Unfortunately, the Media Category Trust is the lowest among all the categories, which probably indicates that the skepticism has shifted from the media to the audience. More than anything else, the Media category Brand Trust is synonymous with the two of the Composites, Shared Interest and sincerity. News media success depends on keeping focus on audience interest, but when the media begins to give more value to advertiser interest, trust in media usually falls. Sincerity of reporting and balanced understanding of the readers/viewers remain strong factors for gaining the audience trust.