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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 02:01 GMT 03:01 UK
Media holds its own in trust poll
Click below to see the poll results in more detail

More people around the world trust the media than trust their governments, according to an international poll.

On average 61% said they trusted the media, compared to 52% who believed their government's explanations.

The poll also highlights growing use of internet news sources, including blogs, especially among young people.

Some 10,230 people in 10 countries were polled for the BBC, Reuters and US think tank The Media Center on the media and issues of trust.

Polling organisation Globescan found a strong demand for news and an increasing awareness and use of internet news sources.

MEDIA TRUST POLL
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Almost three-quarters of people (72%) said they followed the news closely every day, with national TV (82%) and national or regional newspapers (75%) the most trusted news outlets, according to the poll.

Online news sources were the first choice among 19% of 18-24 year-olds, compared to just 3% of those aged 55-64.

Retaining trust

Overall levels of trust in the media have risen in the past four years, the poll suggests.

Newspaper stall in South Korea

Results varied across the range of countries surveyed. Trust in journalists was highest in Nigeria (88%, with 34% trusting the government), Indonesia (86% v 71%), India (82% v 66%) and Egypt (74%; government question not asked).

Only in three countries did governments score higher than the media. In the US, 67% said they trusted the government compared with 59% prepared to put their trust in the media.

In the UK 51% trusted their government (media 47%) and in Germany 48% trusted officials (media 43%).

The three other countries surveyed were Russia, South Korea and Brazil, where just 30% said they trusted the government version of events.

However, the survey suggests that retaining trust is getting harder.

More than one quarter, or 28%, said they had stopped using a news source within the past 12 months because they had lost trust in its content.

Urban males aged 18-24 were found to be the group most likely to stop using one particular news source.

Global reach

While TV and newspapers remain dominant around the world, many consumers are developing a more nuanced approach to the media.

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Kevin Sites is pioneering online reporting for Yahoo! News

Some 77% prefer to check several news sources rather than simply rely on one, a habit particularly evident online.

Blogs are among the online sources that people are consulting, although few place ultimate trust in their content: 25% said they trusted blogs, with almost the same number (23%) distrusting them.

Just 3% of all respondents said blogs were their main news source. The only exception to this trend was in South Korea (17%), where online news is highly popular.

About one-third of South Koreans (34%) consider the internet to be their primary source of news, considerably ahead of the second-ranked US, where 14% choose to go online first.

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Overall, 56% of those asked said TV news remained their first port of call. Newspapers came second, with 21%.

The most trusted media outlets around the world were large global news organisations such as the BBC or CNN.

Internationally, 48% said they trusted the BBC, while 44% backed CNN.

Younger web brands were also shown to have won significant public trust: Google (30%), Yahoo! (28%) and Microsoft/MSN (27%).

The Globescan poll was commissioned to coincide with the We Media global forum taking place in London from 3 to 4 May. The forum brings together major media companies with developers and bloggers from around the world.


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