Online and commercial broadcast news worst of distrusted media: study

Australians are more likely to distrust than trust news on websites, blogs and commercial TV and radio, and more trust banks and mining companies than the media, according to a recent study.

The media industry was the second-most distrusted on the list of industries polled by Essential Media Communications, with 67% of the public distrustful of the media industry compared to only 30% who trusted it.

Among the different media outlets, commercial talk-back radio programs were the most distrusted, followed by commercial TV news and current affairs programs, news and opinion websites and commercial radio news programs. Blogs were even more distrusted than official media outlets, while the ABC’s TV and radio news programs garnered the highest levels of trust.


Q. How much trust do you have in what you read or hear in the following media?

The study, conducted among 1000 Australians between 16 and 20 January, also found that more residents of New South Wales distrusted the Daily Telegraph than trusted it, making the Sydney tabloid the least-trusted newspaper.

Fellow News Limited paper, Melbourne’s Herald Sun, also attracted high levels of distrust, while the publisher’s The Australian enjoyed considerably higher levels of trust at 65%.

The most trusted newspapers were Fairfax’s The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald which 71% of the public expressed a lot or some trust in.


Q. How much trust do you have in what you read in the following newspapers?

Note: Question was asked of residents of each publication’s state only


Trust in each of the publications has dropped by between 4% and 8% since a previous run of the study in mid 2011.