Trust in UK media

“The British people simply don’t trust the media”, Jeremy Corbyn said in his Alternative MacTaggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival. I spoke to BBC News for the News at Ten about trust in UK media, and below is a bit of Reuters Institute data for those interested.


1) Trust in news is lower in the UK than many other countries,42 percent say they think they can trust “most news most of the time”, placing the UK 20th of the 37 countries we surveyed in 2018.


2) Corbyn also said that “most of our citizens think our newspapers churn out fake news day in, day out”, and indeed out survey data suggest that many online news users in the UK are also very or extremely concerned over what they see as “stories where facts are twisted to push an agenda” (55%) and “poor journalism” (51%). (Just as 44% are concerned over “the use of the term ‘fake news’ to discredit news media” by politicians and others).


3) But, while overall trust is low, and many are concerned that much of what they see is biased and shoddy, 54 percent say they trust the news they use, and at the brand level, most people find the BBC and other broadcasters, regional/local papers, and upmarket papers like the Times trustworthy — irrespective of whether they use them or not, whereas some digital-born sites and mid-market/popular newspapers have limited trust even from the people who use them.


All this data and more from our 2018 Digital News Report by Nic Newman et al, available at for free download, interactive graphics etc.


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