Wednesday, May 03, 2006

10 Country Poll: Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera most trusted

Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera most trusted: poll
By Jeffrey Goldfarb

LONDON (Reuters) - One-quarter of consumers abandoned a news source over the past year because they lost trust in its reporting, according to a new survey that also found the BBC, Fox News and Al Jazeera the most trusted brands in their respective home regions.

Results of a poll of more than 10,000 adults in 10 countries by the British Broadcasting Corporation, Reuters Group Plc and The Media Center were released on Wednesday, with an additional finding that media worldwide were trusted by an average of 61 percent of respondents compared with 52 percent who said they trusted their governments.

"National TV is still the most trusted news source by a wide margin, although the Internet is gaining ground among the young," said Doug Miller, president of London-based research firm GlobeScan, which conducted the polling.

"The jury is still out on blogs," he added. "Just as many people distrust them as trust them."

The survey confirmed that media consumption is shifting online for younger generations, as 19 percent of those aged 18 to 24 named the Internet as their most important source of news compared with 9 percent overall.

Seventy-two percent of all respondents said they followed the news closely, including 67 percent of those 18 to 24 years old.

Asked to name the news source they most trusted, without any prompting, 59 percent of Egyptians said Al Jazeera, 52 percent of Brazilians said Rede Globo, 32 percent of Britons said the BBC, 22 percent of Germans said ARD and 11 percent of Americans said Fox News, each leading their respective nations.

The most trusted news brands globally were the BBC, Britain's publicly funded broadcaster, and CNN, which is owned by the world's biggest media conglomerate, Time Warner Inc..

Three Internet portals -- Google, Yahoo and Microsoft/MSN -- received the next highest trust ratings across the 10 countries, when respondents were prompted with 16 different brand names.

Although trust in media has grown in most countries over the past four years, the survey found, 28 percent of people across the 10 countries either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement: "In the past year I have stopped using a specific media source because it lost my trust."

Germans were unique in the survey for naming newspapers more than TV as their most important news source, by a margin of 45 percent to 30 percent.

Among South Koreans, who have a comparatively low trust of media in general, 34 percent said the Internet was their most important source of news compared with 9 percent worldwide.

More than 1,000 people were surveyed in March and April in each of the United Kingdom, United States, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia and South Korea.

Reuters is a global news and information provider and The Media Center is a nonprofit think tank that researches media-related issues.