In a recent article in The International Journal of Press/Politics Marc Verboord and Susanne Janssen (Media Studies), together with their Danish colleagues Nete Nørgaard Kristensen and Franziska Marquart, show how institutional trust is influenced by how institutions perform, the cultural values individuals adhere to, and, to a lesser extent, their media use.
Trust in political and societal institutions is a crucial foundation for well-functioning open democratic societies. However, institutional trust seems to be declining – a trend linked to developments in the political realm and the media field. According to some, political polarisation and the rise of right-wing populism have led to a “cultural backlash” against progressive-liberal values and even democratic principles. At the same time, the diversification and digitalisation of the media has led to new types of media use. Particularly, digital media use has been associated with lower institutional trust.
In a recent article in The International Journal of Press/Politics, Marc Verboord and Susanne Janssen, together with their Danish colleagues Nete Nørgaard Kristensen and Franziska Marquart examine which of these factors have the strongest influence on institutional trust in nine European countries. The results suggest that various dimensions of cultural backlash matter in explaining institutional trust. Trust is partly influenced by the perceived performance of institutions, and partly by socio-cultural values of individuals (that are independent of institutional performance). Media use has a more limited influence. Using public television is positively, and social media negatively associated with trust.
The article is part of the Horizon project “EUROPEAN INVENTORY OF SOCIETAL VALUES OF CULTURE AS BASIS FOR INCLUSIVE CULTURAL POLICIES”. Also, it is one of the outcomes of the visiting professorship of Nete Nørgaard Kristensen in ESHCC in 2022/2023.