Government and politicians are not on top of the most trusted list.
Unfortunately, the media isn’t far away from this category.
A certain president and his cries of “fake news” and denouncing certain media does not help the situation.
Here in Australia our track record isn’t that good. According to the 2018 Trust Baromoter by Edelman, the world's largest PR outfit, trust in government dropped to 35 points (out of 100).
In 2017 trust levels were at 37, in 2016 at 45 and in 2012 at 33. Below 50 is considered mistrust. In comparison, for 2018, the United States of America was at 33 and China the highest at 84. The lowest was South Africa with a score of 14.
In Australia we have a term for trust – “fair dinkum”.
It’s easy to mistrust politicians when negative stories on their efforts are published in the media.
Traditionally, it is the media’s role to act as a check and balance. We call this the fourth estate. And in its truest form it serves for accountability.
In recent months, in particular the past couple of weeks, we have been questioning the experiences of some who are seeking mental health support via our hospital and health system.
The union has also been raising concerns about stress currently experienced by the Launceston General Hospital.
It appears the failures have been related to the system and to communication between departments.
This can’t be fixed overnight, but actions are needed to correct issues.
The opposition has been quick to call for Health Minister Michael Ferguson to step down. It appears every Health Minister is ordered to do this. It happened to Michelle O’Byrne during her tenure as Health Minister.
Some readers have joined this chorus. Thankfully other readers were quick to point out that the problems go beyond a minister, but also acknowledged a minister plays an integral role in correcting issues.
Mr Ferguson has been described as one of the most hardworking politicians. He has a portfolio that no one would want, yet is vitally important.
While trust is obviously a delicate issue in Australia based on the poll, we must trust that actions will be implemented to correct problems. And readers, please trust us, we will be here as the fourth estate.