TV media in particular have relished the ratings from the most disruptive and rancorous US election campaign in history. Reality TV crossed over into mainstream TV journalism and media credibility continues to evaporate.
The election has shown why public trust in media in the US is the lowest ever.
The surrogates and spinners deserve our scorn.
The media no longer deserve our respect for their inability, unwillingness and lack of courage to call out racism, misogyny, undemocratic behavior, lies and conduct unbecoming a Presidential candidate.
Uninformed, offensive and inflammatory
Even worse, the media promoted uninformed, offensive and inflammatory rhetoric because the spectacle brings audience.
And the Republican Party? Bad enough that they didn’t do their job in Washington in the past four years. Even worse for choosing a Presidential candidate who had no interest in anything but himself. And their biggest failure? To broaden their outreach into new minority communities. AN utter and complete failure to recognize political reality.
The GOP deserves whatever the outcome is on election day and the damage they have allowed to their brand.
The same applies to media credibility and authority. The media have simply arrived too late to calling a shovel a bloody spade.
Giving a voice and implied respect to disrespectful, racist, hate-inciting people is simply wrong.
“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong!” as one of the candidates loves to tell us.
Trust in media dropping like a hot potato
Pew Research tracks all kinds of media data but two recent facts stand out:
Only 18% of the public have “A lot” of trust in the information provided by “national news organizations.”
Understandably, only 4% of the public have “A lot” of trust in the information provided by social media.
Media credibility will continue to drop like a hot potato from the top of Trump Tower.
The media and the people are both poorer for the spectacle.
Why is this a PR and social media issue?
When it comes to information channels, there are an overwhelming number of possibilities in both mainstream and social media. They’re just no longer as helpful when it comes to building credibility.
As PR and marketing experts, when it comes to trust and reputation management, we have few choices.
Author: Jeff Domansky
Visuals: Pew Research, author