Trust in the media

YouGov has today published the results of a ‘Trust in the media’ survey and it is bad news for newspapers. The survey found that ‘this summer’s phone-hacking scandal has resulted in media mistrust among members the public’.  Here are some of the results:

  • 64% of UK adults saw TV as the most trusted media outlet
  • 58% said the same about radio
  • 38% trusted newspapers, while 25% thought the same about magazines

Interestingly – given the ongoing Leveson Inquiry – nearly 1 in 5 (17%) UK adults think that they will be less likely to consult newspapers for their current affairs content in 2012. This is also perhaps a result of the ongoing phone hacking investigation; with 58% of respondents saying that the recent scandal has reduced their level of trust in the newspaper industry, while over half (51%) said it had reduced their trust in the UK media as a whole. Perhaps the most damning finding was that:

  • Three in four people (74%) in the UK think media outlets sometimes, or frequently, lie to their audiences
  • Over half – 55% – agree that the content in the UK media has been dumbed down in recent years

If 3 in 4 people really believe that media outlets ‘sometimes, or frequently, lie to their audiences’ then why do newspaper sales continue to hold out fairly well? Perhaps as I suggested earlier: people really are addicted to this kind of news output and newspapers lie because it brings in sales. Remember, newspapers want to earn sales, earning trust is irrelevant if not doing so does not impact on sales.

However, you can safely ignore what I think because ‘blogs are trusted by under one in ten people (9%)’.

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