Trust in the media is up when it comes to information about corporate and social responsibility, while reliance on the accountability of government officials is down, according to a study released today by G&S Business Communications.

According to G&S’s ninth annual Sense & Sustainability study, 49 percent of Americans turn to news media for information about corporate social and environmental responsibility. That’s a six percent jump from last year’s 43 percent, which marked a five-year low.

In addition, more people are likely to pursue information about issues surrounding corporate accountability. Only 25 percent of survey respondents said that they are staying uninformed, down from 32 percent in 2017’s survey.

2018 G&S Business Communications Sense & Sustainability Study

However, faith in the government’s ability to effectively address problems of corporate responsibility is weakening, the study says. Almost two-thirds of survey respondents (64 percent) said their confidence that elected officials can be relied on for anything more than thoughts and prayers following a public emergency was less than it used to be. A similar number (65 percent) indicated that their trust in the government to protect the environment or responsibly use natural resources had fallen.

The positive perception of workplace diversity and inclusion appears to be on the rise. When asked to compare their current views to those they held five years ago, 60 percent of respondents said they were equally or more confident that employers who promote workplace diversity are also likely to attract top talent.

The takeaway from the study is that Americans want “harder evidence in the form of facts and figures to inform their decisions and actions,” said G&S managing director and sustainability leader Ron Loch. “Business communicators who are stewards of corporate reputations and brand value must heed the urgent call from stakeholders for more intelligent, respectful discourse with those who vote with their wallets, ballots and efforts at work.”

For the G&S Sense & Sustainability study, global public opinion and data company YouGov plc polled 2,659 U.S. adults ages 18 and older between August 21 and 23.