Published in October 2010 issue of Prospect Magazine
As the party conference season gets under way, how much will we believe of what politicians and commentators say? Not a lot, according to new YouGov research for Prospect. It will come as little surprise that trust in politicians has declined since the age of innocence, before the Iraq war. What should concern my former media colleagues is that trust in journalists has fallen much more.
Starting early in 2003, YouGov has asked people from time to time how much they trust different groups of communicators, decision-makers and service providers to tell the truth. The table below compares some of the results from the first survey with our latest findings. In almost all cases, trust is down. The decline is greatest (33 points) for journalists who work for ITV News, but also alarming for those at the BBC (21) and broadsheets (24). They are all still trusted more than politicians from any party, but not as massively as they were seven years ago. Trust in tabloid journalists is down just 4 points, but as their original trust rating was already a dire 14 per cent, scope for further decline was limited.