Edelman survey: Global trust in tech industry rises, despite concerns about jobs and pace of innovation

The Edelman Trust Barometer is the largest survey of its kind -- 33,000 people in 27 countries. The majority expect to be worse-off within five years.

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The technology sector is by far the highest-trusted industry, according to the latest Edelman Trust Barometer 2019, a global survey of more than 33,000 people in 27 countries,  even though the survey uncovered widespread concerns about their prospects.

There is a growing feeling of pessimism about the future... And despite a full-employment economy, fear of job loss remains high among the general population, there is a two-and-half-to-one margin of respondents who say the pace of innovation is too fast over those who say it is too slow.  

Unsurprisingly, social media platforms continued to lose trust and were unable to recover from a big slide in reputation in the prior year.

Traditional media rose to a record wide margin compared with social media, which hit new lows. Trust in journalism remains high, although there is concern about reliable sources of news. 

There was a massive increase in news consumption and news sharing -- likely due to the traffic surge to media news sites fueled by the activities of populist politicians such as President Donald Trump and his Twitter stream. 

The survey uncovered big differences between men and women in the richest countries such as the US and Germany. They differ on issues such as news engagement, trust in media and in activities such as sharing news which is dominated by women. Men tended to be far more trusting than women.

The most trusted entity globally was "My Employer" with 75 percent approval compared with Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) at 57 percent, business at 56 percent,  government at 48 percent, and media with 47 percent. 

The report has a lot more information in graph formats here.  


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Although "My Employer" is the most trusted, Edelman CEO Richard Edelman, speaking at the Davos Conference, highlighted the walkout of tens of thousands of tech workers last year. He said that 71 percent of employees want their CEOs to go beyond being business leaders and become leaders in taking action on critical social issues.  

The Edelman survey is the largest of its kind and has been released annually for 19 years. Its publication is timed for the elite Davos Conference on Switzerland. 

This year Edelman is using the Trust Barometer to harvest sales leads for a new business group, Edelman Trust Management, which offers consultancy and analytics to measure and manage an organization's "trust capital". 

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