A new poll has shown that adults in both the United States and United Kingdom still see traditional media outlets as the most trustworthy sources of news, with social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook lagging some distance behind established channels like TV, radio and newspapers.
The PBS UK Trust Report revealed that despite the vast numbers of users, just 15% of adults in the UK and 19% of adults in the USA considered Twitter and Facebook as a trusted source of media content.
In the UK, 64% saw TV as the most trusted media outlet, ahead of radio (58%) and newspapers (38%). In the States, newspapers were favored by 44% of Americans, slightly ahead of TV and magazines (both at 42%).
Blogs are considered the least dependable source of information, with one in five adults in the USA (18%) and just one in ten in the UK (9%) rating them as trustworthy.
The poll, which surveyed 1,108 UK adults and 1,095 US adults, also found that the summer’s phone-hacking scandal has dented faith in the media amongst members of the public.
- 17% of UK adults stating they will be less likely to consult newspapers for current affairs content in 2012
- 74% think UK media outlets sometimes or frequently lie to their audiences
- 21% of UK adults say they never trust the US media for content, regardless of the type of story being covered
- Conversely, only 7% of the US public says that they never trust the UK media
PBS, the publicly-funded American TV and radio network, launched in the UK on November 1. The American public has rated PBS as the most trustworthy institution among nationally known organizations for seven consecutive years.
“We wanted to understand the issue of trust in the media given that we are launching America’s most trusted broadcaster in the UK,” said Richard Kingsbury, general manger for PBS UK. “It is salutary how public trust has been corroded across all media and yet encouraging that television still enjoys a high level of trust.”