e-Marketer ran a brief item the other day showing which media sources consumers around the world trusted.
Globally, the most trusted information source was friends, with 42% of those surveyed saying that they trusted word-of-mouth recommendations. About an equal number trusted TV news (41%), online news (40%) and newspapers (39%).
Given that the majority of online news is derived from traditional media sources (or a service like AP), a startling brand transference has occurred where the distributor of information has a more trusted brand than the creator of that information.
(I’d guess that the relative vitality of internet media versus traditional media imputes a greater degree of credibility to the internet. After all, I’m more inclined to believe a healthy person than a sickly person when they recommend a restaurant.)
On another note, look at the least trusted source of information: bloggers. So, while millions of people are reading millions of blogs, it is with a skeptical eye.