Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Research: Under a quarter of consumers view news reporting as ‘factual’

Trust in British news reporting continues to be a major problem, with less than a quarter of consumers believing that the news they receive from publications is based on fact, according to research from Builtvisible.

The survey of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of the digital marketing agency, found that just 22.45% of people would describe news reporting as ‘factual’. The majority of consumers would either describe reporting as being misleading (20.6%), untrustworthy (19.45%), or biased (19.3%).

Interestingly, 28% of Brits accuse reports of not carrying out robust due diligence, such as fact-checking, around the content they publish. Nonetheless, 41.8% of UK consumers don’t know how stories are regulated, suggesting they wouldn’t actually be able to positively say if something had been incorrectly reported.

Fragile trust

Past scandals appear to have a part to play in the lack of trust consumers have in the press, with 22.15% stating they continue to be influenced by privacy scandals, such as phone hacking.

Public perception is also swayed by a belief that opinions are being shared rather than objective reporting of events for 20% of consumers. Similarly, 18.95% of people’s perceptions have been influenced by seeing sensationalised or ‘clickbait’ headlines.

Perhaps surprisingly, despite being the most widely read commercial news brand, 31.9% of consumers claim to avoid or no longer read The Sun. This is followed by Daily Mail (22.35%), Daily Star (20.9%), and Daily Mirror (19.4%).


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