When the COVID-19 crisis ends, we still have a distrust epidemic to deal with

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 30-Mar-20

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed deep fissures of distrust in Australia, accelerating a risk that research firm Roy Morgan has been warning about for some time. "We interview more than 50,000 Australians every year, in person, at length, and have done so for decades," says Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine. "We’ve seen countless trends come and go and deeper changes take root. But in 2017 we realised something new was happening. Something was corroding the way people felt about the companies they interacted with, the sports they followed, the communities they lived in." It clearly involved trust, "but we’ve been measuring trust for a long time and those measures weren’t capturing it," she says. The breakthrough was realising that the issue wasn’t low trust levels, or even an absence of trust: "That’s a problem, but it doesn’t produce the societal cracks we were observing". The culprit was much more potent and damaging: active distrust. "Distrust poses a very real, material risk to brands, communities and even nations," says Levine. Levine and her team developed a rigorous measure for distrust: the Roy Morgan Risk Monitor. They now measure both trust and distrust across and within 25 key industries, and also assess trust and distrust in key public political and business leaders. The results are disturbing. The latest findings on Australians’ distrust for our Prime Minister and government should ring loud alarm bells as the country faces its biggest challenge since World War II.


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