Brands Must Do Their Part to Protect Freedom of the Press

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Credit: istockphoto.com/PeopleImages

Credit: istockphoto.com/PeopleImages

Seventy-one percent of journalists and influencers think the public has lost trust in them, according to the recently released 2018 Global State of the Media Report from Cision. While troubling, it’s not surprising. Fake news, poor reporting practices and extremist groups masquerading as media outlets all contribute to an industry that struggles to define for the public what is true and accurate and what is not.

But it’s not all bad. Journalists who feel they’ve lost trust has decreased from 91 percent in 2017, which means that fewer feel they are losing ground with the public. Why the change?

Journalists are being publicly attacked

Perhaps the constant attacks on the media industry have made people pay more attention to what journalists do and the value they provide.

The news segment “Why Do Journalists Keep Falling?” that documents a series of suspicious deaths of Russian journalists sent chills down my spine. Scott Simon of NPR reports, “Journalism is a dangerous trade in Russia. At least 35 Russian journalists have been murdered since 2000…a surprising number have implausibly fallen or slipped to their deaths.”

The dangers that journalists face increase when government and society fail to support them, or actively work to undermine them. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 169 journalists and media workers were killed in the last two years alone, many by murder. The actual figure is likely higher.

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