Hardly anyone trusts the media

pileofpapers Press intrusion and inaccurate reporting in the UK are getting worse because the recession has forced newspapers to make cutbacks, says the BBC in summarizing A More Accountable Press, a report published today by the Media Standards Trust which says some newspapers are sacrificing standards to maintain sales.

The BBC report says that the system of self-regulation of the press, overseen by the Press Complaints Commission, needs urgent reform.

The most telling statement in the BBC’s report is this:

[…] A YouGov survey found only 7% of 2,024 people questioned trust UK national newspapers to behave responsibly.

Is that really any surprise, though?

If you read Flat Earth News by Nick Davies when it was published early last year, you would have had your eyes opened to the pending demise of “real journalism” and the rise of churnalism.

If only ten percent of what Davies wrote about is true, you’ll never trust the media (especially the Daily Mail: nearly 40 pages about that newspaper’s deeds) or the PR profession again. Ever.

Whether it’s the recession, profit/greed (a strong feature in Nick Davies’ book), a combination of some or all of those things, or something else entirely, A More Accountable Press seems to confirm what other research indicates, notably the latest Edelman 2009 Trust Barometer published earlier this month – trust in the media looks to be in terminal decline.

[…] Of those interviewed by YouGov, 75% said newspapers frequently published stories they knew to be inaccurate, while 70% said there were too many invasions of privacy by newspapers.

The 7% level of people who trusted newspapers to behave responsibly was lower than that for banks.

A further 60% called for greater government intervention to protect privacy, while 73% said they would like the government to do more to correct inaccuracies in the media.

Further signs that pave the way for greater government oversight, if not regulation.

(Via Journalism.co.uk)

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Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. David

    I think the most dispiriting thing about Flat Earth News was how even the BBC got a bit of kicking. You’re not surprised by the comments about the tabloids (especially the Daily Mail), but with the demise of commercial journalism we need high quality publicly funded journalism more than ever….let’s up the licence fee and get more journalists back on the street: social media can’t replace traditional media.

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