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The importance of journalism and the need for credible context

In part I, we discussed how macro-level disruptions have created a climate of uncertainty and enabled misinformation to proliferate. We’ve replaced trust in institutions with trust in ourselves and our families. Ultimately this is to our detriment. In part II we’ll examine journalism’s role in overcoming these obstacles and the actions marketers can take.

WHY CONTRACTION OF TRUST IS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE NEED

The phenomenon of contraction back to self is not new — social platforms have celebrated a narrative of individualism. However, the problems we face as a society such as COVID 19, racial injustice and climate change are too big to tackle individually or at the household level.

A FRAMEWORK FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION… SORT OF

In general, we know the problems we face will take collective action.

BUT WITH SPECIFICITY, CONSENSUS BREAKS DOWN

However, this framework breaks down when we ask about specific issues. Specificity creates complexity, disagreement, and splintering. Even seemingly straightforward elements of problem solving, like agreeing on the nature of the problem, become points of contention.

And so we reach the heart of the issue: What can help us create a framework of understanding for key issues so we can take the collective action required to solve them?

THE IMPORTANCE OF JOURNALISM: A HUNGER FOR CREDIBLE CONTEXT

Reliable information expressed through journalism is key — people are hungry for both local and national news to help them navigate disruption and take informed action.

JOURNALISM MUST PUSH US BACK UP TO CONSENSUS

There is a real opportunity for responsible journalism to create the consensus necessary to fix “big” societal problems.

During this critical period, we must support journalism that:

  • Tells stories to crystallize our “new” reality of disruption
  • Combats the pandemic of misinformation
  • Provides a safe haven for experts and local voices
  • Encourages a shift from individualism to collective action
  • Creates the consensus necessary for this time

How marketers can help:

  • Provide direction during times of disruption
  • Market the WE instead of stimulating the ME
  • Combat misinformation by not incentivizing it, especially on platforms
  • Quality, context and trust must be prioritized

Vox Media has created a suite of resources that provides your brand with the best of the trusted web, enabling you to tap into both national and local audiences at scale.

Concert: Short-tail by design, Concert is a one-stop, national marketplace that reaches 87% of the US digital population and positions your brand alongside trusted, safe, high quality journalism.

Concert Local: Local media is deeply intertwined 
within its community, generating a 
closer connection and greater trust with its audience. In partnership with Google News Initiative, Concert Local taps into this value, connecting premium local publishers and top-tier ad solutions to national advertisers.

Methodology

A survey was commissioned to 2000 consumers in August 2020. Our partner, The Circus, is an insight and data storytelling consultancy that specializes in original trend research, thought leadership, and strategic brand positioning rooted in a human-data centric approach.

James Bareham / Vox Media

Edwin Wong is Senior Vice President, Insights & Innovation at Vox Media, the leading independent modern media company known for building the best media brands and the technology that enables them. He leads research to identify key trends in consumer behavior and help advertisers capitalize on these trends to effectively connect with their core audiences. He has been studying digital consumer behavior for nearly 20 years and has held previous roles at BuzzFeed, Pinterest and Yahoo.