Expressions of public trust in media and state institutions are contradictive; their comparison should be evaluated with certain reservations. In order to compare trust in media and state institutions throughout Europe, a very simple Comparative Media Trust Index (CMTI) was designed. The CMTI is based on comparison of trust in five state institutions and three media types, and was used for a pilot analysis to compare trust in media and state institutions throughout Europe. For this analysis, the level of ‘gross trust’ (which was calculated by summing up trust in media and the three most trusted state institutions) was taken into account. The research helped identify four models of trust (Transitional, Nordic, Post-communist and Mediterranean) which were compared with three media systems proposed by Daniel Hallin and Paolo Mancini. The first insights gained through the CMTI regarding the balance between trust in media and state institutions throughout Europe could lead to rather optimistic conclusions. In experienced democracies, primary trust is placed in democratically elected state institutions, and trust in media could be characterised as secondary. Countries with fresh reminiscences of a totalitarian past still live in a transitional period where the understanding of the roles of the state and the media is influenced by negative memories of distrust in elected bodies.
- Media system