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A report published by the US Pew Research Centre found that less that half the adults in the UK say that the news media is doing a good job at getting the facts right, the worst trustworthiness rate in Western Europe! The report was published at the same time as the House of Commons rejected the call to hold part two of the Leveson Inquiry into the conduct of the media which included a number of new provisions including an investigation into the dissemination of information and news, including false news stories.

The research centre asked a total of 16,000 people across the UK, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden about their views on the media and their use of social media to get news. Each had roughly 2,000 respondents, who were surveyed between last October and December.

The UK was rated joint second worst for investigating the actions of its government, tying with France on 51 per cent. Italy rated worse on 42 per cent. The UK was also second worst for being political neutral in its news coverage with only 37 per cent believing that their press were doing a good job. This is hardly surprising as newspapers have no obligation to present balanced coverage unlike broadcasters. Only 48 per cent thought the UK was doing a good job at ‘getting the facts right’. This was the lowest figure with Italy and Spain nearest at 55 per cent. Although better trusted for covering the economy (65 per cent) and crime (70 per cent) it was the least trusted on its coverage of immigration (44 per cent).

The report also covered the use of social media as a news source, finding that the majority of people get their news from social media ‘at least sometimes’ with 38 per cent doing so daily.

Sources: Pew Research Centre and Charlotte Tobitt Press Gazette 15 May 2018 see:

UK newspaper circulation – latest