Giant PR firm, Edelman, does a global annual survey to gauge of the "trust" the public has in its institutions: 1) Government 2) Business 3) Media, and 4) NGOs.
The people surveyed are categorized into three groups:
1) Informed Public 2) General On-line Population, and 3) Mass Population (all population excluding Informed Public)
The results are published in the "Edelman Trust Baraometer".
2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Widening Trust Gap
2017 Edelman Trust Barometer An Implosion in Trust! (Brexit, Trump, immigration/refugee crisis?)
Interesting, considering recent events but one does wonder about the validity of the results as a measure of "trust". If it isn't trust that's actually being measured, what is it? It's worth reading this bit of skepticism: "Can You Trust The Data On Trust?"
The surveys show that the "Informed Public", which includes the elites that control the four institutions, have much higher "trust" in those institution than the general public (ie the definition of the "trust gap"). Hardly a surprising result.
With the advent of Internet, the general public is in a position to be better informed and less subject to control of the message by the elites (especially the legacy MSM). A widening "trust gap" might be a natural consequence of this. However, a potentially serious downside is a diminishing respect for the rule of law and the constitution. For example, certain of the elites (Justin Trudeau for one) have been pushing the fuzzy notion of "social license" ("governments issue permits, communities grant permission"). In the case of pipeline approvals this suggests that decisions by lawfully appointed and mandated regulatory bodies (like the NEB) are subject to being overruled by vocal interest groups ("communities") who have no legal status. Mob rule is "permitted" to supplant the rule of law. Not good!