Available now! World Press Trends 2018: Measuring the value of trust

The impact of trust on the performance of news and the revenues of news media companies worldwide is undeniable, according to the findings of WAN-IFRA’s latest World Press Trends report.

by Dean Roper | October 2, 2018

The report analyses the data collected from WAN-IFRA’s annual survey of more than 70 countries, in addition to the insights and data from its global partners, including ZenithOptimedia, IPSOS, PwC and Chartbeat.

‘A lack of trust can cost publishers’

“For the press, securing a trusted relationship with its audience is not only an economic imperative but also a social and democratic obligation,” said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).

“This year’s World Press Trends analysis shows that a lack of trust can cost publishers where it hurts most – with their audiences and advertisers, therefore impacting revenues. And, perhaps more profoundly, it is potentially costing them a central and pivotal role in their communities and society at large,” — Vincent Peyrègne, CEO, WAN-IFRA

This year’s analysis was conducted by: Dr. François Nel, Reader in Media Innovation at the Media Innovation Studio, University of Central Lancashire, Dr. Coral Milburn-Curtis, Associate Fellow at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and Prof. Castulus Kolo, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Munich (Germany).

In addition to the significant statistical evidence that trust impacts revenues, World Press Trends reports on the key performance indicators from 2017. Here are some of the findings:

  • Trust in media may be at an all-time low but trust in journalists and quality journalism is on the rise, particularly compared to platforms

  • Publishers’ primary revenue streams face increasing pressure, while digital reader revenue continues to grow.

  • Industry overall revenue (primary revenue streams) contracted by 1.8% (YoY 2016-2017), in large part due to the continued decline in print revenues which still make up about 90% of publishers’ revenues.

  • Publishers continue to turn their focus to a more user-, consumer-centric business model, as evidenced by audience revenues of $87 billion compared to $63 billion from advertising.

  • While print advertising continues to tumble (double digits in many western countries) and digital advertising growth remains slow, those revenues still make up nearly 42% of publishers overall revenue.

  • Despite the turmoil in digital advertising, total global ad spend continues to grow, and to compete with tech giants (and pool resources and brand prestige), publishers are increasingly forming ad alliances all over the world.

  • Users are more likely to land directly on publishers sites (primarily from mobile) than they are to arrive there from social. But dark social (newsletters, etc.) are helping this direct relationship.

  • Despite print’s struggles through much of the world, recent research shows that time spent with print vs. digital is a different story.

  • Publishers have indeed accelerated innovation in the pursuit of digital transformation, but the lingering question is: Is it quickly enough?

  • A publisher’s ability to transform in this light depends on a number of regional, national, social, political factors, our research finds.

Free for WAN-IFRA Members

WAN-IFRA Members can download the report (supported this year by Protecmedia) for free (; non-members can purchase the report. (Note to trade press: if you are interested in having the full report, email:

World Press Trends Database

World Press Trends has been published by WAN-IFRA since 1989. The data is compiled in an interactive database and an annual report, both available to WAN-IFRA Members without charge.

For non-members, WAN-IFRA offers the database by individual access, on an annual subscription basis, and IP access that allows companies, universities or libraries to provide access to any number of users. Full details can be found at

WAN-IFRA Reports

WAN-IFRA Reports identify, analyse and promote important breakthroughs and opportunities that can benefit news publishers all over the world. Recent reports from this year include:

Retention Lessons for Digital Subscriptions

Time Spent Reading News Brands

Publisher Ad Alliances

The Sustainability of Newspapers

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