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The trust level of Israelis in their central social institutions is significantly lower than the world average. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer rates Israel fifth from last out of 28 countries, right between Turkey and Russia.

The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer reveals the largest-ever trust gap (12 points) between the informed public and the mass population, driven by income inequality and divergent expectations of the future. While trust levels among the informed publics are the highest in 16 years, trust is below 50 percent for the mass population in more than sixty percent of the countries surveyed, having barely moved since the Great Recession.


In 1952, Dan Edelman planted the seed for a new kind of company – one that would redefine the role of public relations. Sixty-three years later, the company says they continue to push the boundaries of what PR can do, which is helping clients communicate, engage and build relationships with their stakeholders. With that goal in mind, starting in 2012, Edelman has been publishing an annual Trust Barometer report.

In 2009 the report found that trust in corporations had reached a ten-year low. In 2013, it established that “more than four in five of the general public would expect a business leader to lie when confronted with a difficult issue.” In 2015, The Financial Times reported that trust in governments had fallen sharply in Europe, and The Guardian reported that trust in business was at its lowest level since 2008. Now it’s 2016.

The barometer examines people’s level of trust in four institutions: government, NGOs, businesses, and the media. This is the first year the Edelman Barometer included Israelis in its survey, discovering an abysmally low-level of trust: only 28% of the citizens of the Jewish State trust their government — compared with a global average of 43%; only 35% of Israelis believe their media, compared with 49% elsewhere on the same planet; businesses are trusted by 46% — compared with 53% worldwide; and 53% trust NGOs, compared with 55% elsewhere. Perhaps the pending NGO transparency legislation prepared by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) will take care of that area, too.

Here are a few more key findings from the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer:

Respondents want to see a shift in CEO focus from short-term results and lobbying to job creation (49 percent) and positive long-term impact (57 percent). They want business leaders more visible in discussions of income inequality and public policy (80 percent).

Despite an increase of one point to 42 percent globally, government remains the least trusted institution for the fifth year running.

Trust in NGOs went up in 81 percent of the countries surveyed with the most dramatic jumps occurring in China (17 points) and Mexico (11 points).

Among the informed public, media made an impressive turnaround as trust increased in 20 of the 28 countries surveyed. The biggest gains were in the US (16 points), Canada (14 points), UK (14 points) and Hong Kong (12 points).

Globally, family-owned companies (66 percent) remain most trusted, trailed by public (52 percent) and state-owned (46 percent) businesses.

Companies headquartered in developed markets are still more trusted than those based in developing markets. Canada, Sweden and Switzerland, all 66 percent, are most trusted, followed by Germany (64 percent).

For the fifth consecutive year, search engines (63 percent) and traditional media (58 percent) remain the two most trusted sources for general news and information. Online media jumped 8 points to 53 percent and is now the third most trusted source, followed by owned media, which is up 3 points to 46 percent and social media (44 percent).

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