Today’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 35%, LAB 39%, LDEM 10%, UKIP 8%. The four point lead looks very much like an outlier, so I would treat it will some scepticism unless later polls this week show a similar pattern.

YouGov also repeated their semi-regular tracker about trust in various professions following the BBC’s recent troubles. The proportion of people saying they trusted BBC News journalists to tell the trust was down from 57% last month to 44% now, and for the first time marginally more people said they didn’t trust BBC journalists than said they did.

To put this in context, BBC News journalists are still more trusted than journalists on other channels or newspapers, but there has been a sharp decline in recent years. The impact of the Newsnight affair is just a further blow to an already declining reputation. When YouGov first asked the question back in 2003, prior to Andrew Gilligan and the Hutton Report, 81% of people said they trusted BBC News journalists to tell the truth. The drop from 81% to 44% is close to a halving of public trust in BBC journalism over the last decade.

The long term trends show a number of interesting patterns over that decade. There has been a decline in trust towards most groups, the exception being those that were not particularly trusted to start with. So doctors, teachers, local police officers and judges remain the most trusted professions, and the only ones trusted by more than half the population. Police chiefs are trusted by 49% of people, down from 72% back in 2003. The recent revelations over Hillsborough do not, incidentally, appear to have do any particular damage, the drop in trust towards police chiefs came back between 2003 and 2006.

All journalists have seen a drop in their trust ratings, though this has effected tabloid journalists the least (because very few people trusted them to begin with). Trust in mid-market newspapers like the Mail and the Express has halved over the decade, from 36% in 3003 to 18% now. Trust in the broadsheets has fallen from 65% to 38%. Surprisingly there appears to be very little lasting effect from the phone hacking affair. If you look at the figures from July 2011 – conducted when the phone hacking scandal was at its height – there is an obvious drop in trust towards newspaper journalists, trust in broadsheets fell by 6 points, in mid-market papers by 5 points, in tabloids by 4 points. However, if you look at the figures from January 2012 and since then trust in the newspapers appears to have recovered to the sort of figures there were showing prior to phone hacking.


170 Responses to “YouGov show falling trust in the BBC”

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  1. Tinged

    @”If people realised debt’s imaginary qualities, we could be more radical in dealing with it ”

    Certainly could!

    No need for Bank robberies anymore-just go in and demand more “imaginary” cash from the cashier.

    No more Bankruptcies , Receiverships, Liquidations. Just never ending purchase of stuff without exchange value.

    No need for Banks I suppose-walk into shops & demand stuff., debt being imaginary …..I worry slightly about the retailers response-“sure-here’s an imaginary TV”

    ……..yes just a different sort of imaginary world :-)

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  2. @AmberStar

    “I think the BBC is still the least worst but they could be doing better.”

    You bemoaned the fact that there didn’t appear to be many fans of the BBC on here but, fear not, you can count me as a definite, fully paid up member of the BBC Supporters Club! It’s not perfect, and has probably shown signs of deteriorating standards in some of its current affairs reportage over the last few years, but it’s still a uniquely fine broadcasting institution, capable of producing some quite outstanding programmes (London Olympics, anyone?). It remains hugely admired, and widely listened to, across the world, and, as Anthony comments on the introduction to this thread, is still far more trusted and respected than all other media outlets.

    There needs to be some radical changes in the way it’s managed and organised, self evidently, but we mustn’t allow the current crisis to allow those who would destroy it to have their way. If anybody wants to know why we should cherish the BBC, and defend its underlying principles and tenets, then I suggest they read James Murdoch’s attack in 2009.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/aug/28/james-murdoch-bbc-mactaggart-edinburgh-tv-festival

    I wondered what became of that James Murdoch fellow? He seemed such a nice chap too.

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  3. Colin

    Seems that you are ready to man the barricades to defend your small “r” but I understand completely, we all become attached to our subjective realities

    Warning!!! This post may contain disproportionate language

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  4. RiN

    small “r” ?

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  5. @Crossbat11

    The dissatisfaction I expressed above is solely over the BBC’s handling of matters of political controversy within its news and current affairs operation. Don’t confuse that with a general disssatisfaction with the BBC as a whole. That would be playing to Murdoch’s agenda. The principle of public service broadcasting is fine (notwithstanding the inequity of a flat rate tax to pay for it) and is generally put into effect reasonably well in much of the rest of the BBC’s output, IMO.

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  6. paulcroft

    “The polls. I told you 4% had no significance and was just wrong.”

    I think I’ve missed an episode of something, or forgotten it.

    What 4% were you wrong about?

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  7. The most cogent criticism of the BBC seems to come from within.

    The Times’ letters are full of former worthies explaining what a hopeless mess the management structure is. One such , today urges separation of DG & Editor in Chief roles, omitting to explain why the existing arrangement was permitted when the writer presided over it from 2006 to 2010.

    I see that Fatty Pang is said to be contemplating an “outsider” to replace Entwhistle……….which begs the question, why did he select a timserving insider obsessed with procedure & management by buck-passing?

    More significantly, perhaps, veteran broadcasters have entered the fray.

    Peter Snow compares his decades at the BBC with his time at ITV-and the comparison is not complementary to BBC. In three decades, he says he never understood how they made a decision.

    Peter Sissons wrote a memoir about a year ago -When One Door Closes-in which he criticised “institutional bias” at the BBC.He said: “In my view, ‘bias’ is too blunt a word to describe the subtleties of the pervading culture. The better word is a ‘mindset’.”

    He added that “the one thing guaranteed to damage your career prospects at the BBC is letting it be known that you are at odds with the prevailing and deep-rooted BBC attitude towards Life, the Universe and Everything.”

    Michael Buerk-another veteran journalist, in reviewing Sisson’s book launched a detailed criticism of political bias at the BBC :-

    Describing BBC employees , he said -“these are uniformly middle class, well educated, living in north London, or maybe its Manchester equivalent. Urban, bright thirty-somethings with a pleasing record of achievement in a series of institutions”.

    The veteran journalist accused BBC staff of making the left-wing Guardian newspaper their “bible” and political correctness “their creed”.

    ““What the BBC regards as normal and abnormal, what is moderate or extreme, where the centre of gravity of an issue lies, are conditioned by the common set of assumptions held by the people who work for it.”
    He added: “It’s all very well-meaning, and painstakingly even-handed, but often notably adrift of the overriding national sentiment.”

    He condemned the ‘flatulent masses of its middle management’ saying the BBC has no way of distinguishing between competent managers and the ‘totally transparent t***ers’ who populate the Corporation.

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  8. NickP:

    You seemed concerned to explain the drop to a 4% Lab lerad. I said it was wrong. I was right.

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  9. You could argue that the BBC is in fact populated by intelligent, educated people and that tends to mean the Corporation is not as bigoted, blinkered, anti-Union and anti-immigration as people who only get their information from the Mail or the Murdoch.

    All depends upon point of view.

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  10. paulcroft

    I don’t think the figures was wrong. Probably the sample was not representative, but that doesn’t mean it was wrong.

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  11. You could Nick-but you would need to be unintelligent & particularly blinkered & biased by your own mind-set :-)

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  12. colin

    I’ll take that in the spirit of gentle raillery.

    Is there really a liberal bias in the BBC? The right in the USA level the same accusation at Hollywood.

    I wonder if, on social issues especially, it is society that is leaving the right behind and films, programmes, mass media reflect that…so the BBC for instance reflect the views of the voting public and the right then blame the BBC when that voting public supports things like gay rights (?)

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  13. @Colin
    Michael Buerk is entitled to his opinion, but you seem to rest your case on it.

    Surely treating the “Guardian” as bible would make them all coalition supporting Liberal Democrats?

    And much as I’d be delighted if more BBC staff chose to live in Wolverhampton, I can see the merits of North London and Manchester from a practical day-to-day point of view. On the other hand, that’s not conclusive. The Cotswolds would also have its advantages should you wish to ingratiate yourself as neighbours of our political elite.

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  14. I imagine that to anyone rooted in the past the BBC must seem very liberal as it reflects modern life pretty well.

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  15. Colin

    If you were to conduct a poll on where banks got the money that they lend out(AW any chance of doing such a poll?) Most folk would say that it came from the depositors, others would say that most came from depositors but some was borrowed in the money markets, I would guess that less than 1% would know that banks create the money to lend through the magic of double entry book keeping. Henry Ford believed that if the magic of banking were to become public knowledge there would be a revolution tomorrow. I’m not so sure because the idea is so simple and such obvious fraud that the mind refuses to believe, but it is true that the whole basis of our monetary system relies on the general public not being aware of the real mechanism at work, for after all who would feel obligated to repay “fake” money. And it is fake money because if I take 5 twenty pound notes out of my pocket to lend to you then I have a hundred pounds less available to spend, my lending you money involves real sacrifice on my part. However if you borrow the same money from a bank then you have a hundred pounds extra to spend but the bank suffers no lose of spending power because they have exchanged fresh create credit money in Exchange for your promise to pay

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  16. NickP I don’t think it’s right wing to say that hollywood is very liberal. I think most people would acknowledge that. The Arts professions have always been more to the left of centre. Financial professions more to the right etc. I’m sure you can find a a wealth of exceptions, Chuck Norris, Clint Eastwood, Schwarzenegger etc, but overall hollywood is quite left wing.

    The BBC, like me, seems able to offend both sides equally with both sides claiming it is bias towards the other side, in other words, when it comes to neutrality, job well done.

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  17. I think if everyone refused to payback this “”fake”” money the Banks would still have a very real loss.

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  18. PHIL

    I quoted Snow & Sissons too.

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  19. MiM

    Yes they would indeed, in fact complete economic chaos would result

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  20. However insisting that the “fake” money is repaid will also cause complete economic chaos. There is a reason that historically counterfeiting has been the most heavily punished of crimes, enough of it will always destroy the economy

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