London’s Grenfell Tower fire victims aren’t furious just with local authorities for ignoring safety concerns raised before this month’s blaze killed at least 79 residents. They’re angry with journalists too.
As reporters covered the fire at the apartment block last week, some residents turned on Jon Snow of Channel Four News, the most senior of Britain’s news presenters, and accused journalists of being vultures attracted to death and tragedy. “You didn’t come here when people were telling you that the building was unsafe!” one man told Snow. “That is not newsworthy. You come here when people die. Why?”
The Grenfell residents are hardly alone in accusing the media of not serving their needs. It’s no secret that trust in the media has declined. But the latest Reuters Institute Digital News Report, published this week, provides sobering insights into how the digital revolution has disrupted the way we gather the information we believe we need to orient ourselves in the world, or in our neighborhood.
The report shows that trust in the media varies from country to country, from over 60 percent in the Scandinavian countries to the low 20s in Greece and South Korea.
In the United States, trust in the media has risen from 33 percent during last year’s election campaign to 38 percent this year.