Mitch GellmanMitch Gelman, Chief Technology Officer, Newseum

Jeffrey HollenderJeffrey Hollender, Founder & CEO, Sustain Natural

The sweeping political, technological and social changes rocking the US have a “trickle-down effect on news audiences,” transforming the ways in which they receive messages as well as affecting how much they trust what those messages are telling them, said Luke Lambert, CEO of G&S Business Communications, at today’s “Global Street Fight” conference in Manhattan.

Lambert furthered that theme during his interview with Mitch Gelman, Chief Technology Officer at Washington, DC’s Newseum. When Gelman asked the conference attendees how many of them had recently argued with someone about the level of bias in the news media, about half of them raised their hands.

According to research provided by G&S, that trend runs across the public, with about one-third of respondents having had a similar argument.

As to where that lack of trust comes from, Gelman cited the emphasis on ratings and numbers, which he said has led to a lack of focus on curating and providing context.  He said that totally getting rid of bias in the media is not possible, and that the main responsibility of media outlets is to be mindful of that bias and make sure they disclose it to their audiences.

Sponsored by G&S, the event was held at Convene Conference Center and drew about 100 senior PR people.

Jeffrey Hollender, co-founder & former CEO of Seventh Generation natural and sustainable products company, focused on how companies can fashion messages that both show the benefits of their products and represent the larger social issues that the company stands for.

He said that taking a public stand on issues could build loyalty and customer commitment to a brand. Hollender said that while half of detergent products are sold at promotional prices, Seventh Generation’s line is sold at promotion only about 20 percent of the time. “We have to change the mindset that “doing right” costs money,” said Hollender.

Jenna Goudreau & Denise Burrell-StinsonJenna Goudreau, Managing Editor, CNBC Digital and Denise Burrell-Stinson. Head of Storytelling, WP Brand Studio, Washingon Post

Jenna Goudreau, managing editor at CNBC Digital, and Denise Burrell-Stinson, head of storytelling at Washington Post’s WP Brand Studio, provided insights on how to incorporate the latest developments in digital media into the messaging process. Speed and agility were stressed.

Both agreed that the basic rules of storytelling remain essentially unchanged. What has changed is the ever-expanding range of platforms and media on which those stories can be told and distributed.

“There is a glut of opportunity and choice and platforms,” Burrell-Stinson said, and the secret of success in coming years lies in learning how to take advantage of that.