Public Trust in Media Down
Britain may have a sophisticated media industry but it also has some of the most sceptical consumers, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) believing the media does not report all sides of the story.
A 10-country opinion poll for Reuters, the BBC and the Media Centre found British and U.S. consumers out on a limb when it comes to public levels of trust in the media.
Overall trust in the media in Britain has bounced back over the past four years, from a low of 29 percent trusting in 2002 to 47 percent today. But this is still below the 10-country average of 63 percent.
Americans emerged as the most critical of the news media's balance, with 69 percent disagreeing that the media reports all sides of a story.
A similar proportion, 68 percent, thought the media covered too many "bad news" stories.
Despite the fact that those in the poll said the media reported too many "bad news" stories, the writer of the Reuters article insists the low approval ratings are because citizens feel the media are too closely allied to the war-time governments. Since the governments try to promote "good news" stories from Iraq, the opposite of the media, assuming an alliance is inaccurate.
The Reuters journalist took this meaning from the words of Doug Miller, the president of the company that conducted the survey, GlobeScan.
The low levels of trust may, he said, be related to perceptions in the U.S. that the media is too close to the government on issues relating to the Iraq war.
"It may have something to do with the pulling away from traditional media that we're seeing -- this move towards the Internet where people can get other perspectives on major stories that they're not getting from the mainstream media."
He did not say people think journalists are in bed with the government. In fact, people use sources other than the mainstream media to find the good news in Iraq.