Former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III enjoyed consistently high trust ratings during his term based on national surveys in the Philippines, and this appears to be true even among journalists in the country.
A national survey of Filipino journalists conducted during Aquino’s final year in office showed an average trust rating of 2.66 out of 5, which translates to about 53%.
Of the 349 journalists surveyed, 1.5% reported having a “complete trust” in the former president, 12.6% reported having a “great deal of trust,” while 49.7% reported having “some trust.”
Some 36.2% reported having “little” to “no trust at all.”
Aquino’s trust rating among journalists is higher than that of either the House of Representatives (48%) or the Senate (51%).
The journalists who joined the survey also reported similar levels of trust for the police (51%) and the military (53%).
In contrast, journalists seem to trust non-governmental organizations (61%), the judiciary (59%), and religious leaders (58%) quite well.
Of all the different institutions included in the survey, the journalists trusted the news media (68%) the most.
Skepticism is considered to be important in journalism practice, as journalists need to constantly question authorities to report accurately and truthfully.
Thus, understanding journalists’ level of trust in the institutions they routinely cover is also important, because such perceptions can affect their reporting.
The survey, conducted between May and December last year, is part of the Worlds of Journalism Survey, a global project involving journalism researchers from more than 70 countries.
The respondents from the Philippines included journalists from local, regional, and national news organizations. Some 51% were female and 49% were male.
The sample also included journalists across different positions, from reporters to editors-in-chief. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 5.
The author is a journalism researcher and professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. His research focuses on the impact of new technologies on journalistic practice. He is also a former journalist from the Philippines.