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YouGov survey reveals 58% of UK public say they have lost trust in newspapers

By Hamish Mackay

November 15, 2011 | 2 min read

Almost 60% of the British public say the phone-hacking scandal has damaged their trust in UK newspapers, according to a survey commissioned by the American public service broadcaster, PBS.

In a YouGov survey for PBS, 58% of adults said the scandal has had a negative effect on their perceptions of the British press.

And of those interviewed, 51% said it had also made them less likely to trust all domestic news organisations.

The Guardian reports that the PBS report also found that TV and radio are by far the most trusted news outlets in the UK, with 64% and 58% respectively saying they are confident in the veracity of the news carried by the two media.

Newspapers lag far behind on 38%, with magazines trusted by just one in four UK readers.

The Guardian points out: “The UK press is consistently rated as less reliable by domestic audiences compared with most other EU countries. The figures help to highlight the crisis in trust faced by the industry on the day the Leveson inquiry into phone hacking and press standards begins taking evidence at the High Court in London.

“Social media sites have not yet become trusted sources of news, the survey found. Facebook and Twitter are not regarded as reliable outlets for accurate stories, according to PBS and YouGov.

“Twitter, which has become a key supplier of news and information, particularly when breaking stories emerge, is regarded as trustworthy by 15% of people. Blogs are trusted by fewer than one in 10 (9%).

“Dedicated news websites, however, are regarded as reliable by the majority of respondents (55%).”

YouGov surveyed 1108 people in the UK. PBS, the publicly- funded American TV and radio network, launched in the UK at the beginning of November.

Its general manager for the UK, Richard Kingsbury, said: "It is salutary how public trust has been corroded across all media and yet encouraging that television still enjoys a high level of trust."


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