Broadcast channels most trusted in UK

09 September 2011

LONDON: Broadcast mediums are the most trusted media channels among UK consumers, but emerging alternatives such as online video do not yet enjoy a similarly favourable status, a survey has revealed.

River Group, the publishing firm, and YouGov, the insights provider, polled 2,146 adults, and found 52% of respondents perceived radio as trustworthy, a figure reaching 47% for television.

However, 33% adopted the opposite view regarding newspapers, while 28% expressed "very or fairly" strong levels of confidence in these titles, as the News of the World phone hacking scandal exerted a negative influence.

Turning to magazines, 25% of interviewees thought free branded publications were reliable, compared with 22% for consumer magazines.

Just 1% of participants gave an equally complimentary assessment about videos on YouTube and other websites, a rating matched by paid-for "tweets" from celebrities to endorse products on Twitter.

"We were expecting online viewing to score higher than this," Adrian Odds, River Group's business development director. "YouTube is still not seen as a credible channel. Perhaps its content is too jokey and sometimes there is a lot of nonsense to wade through."

Overall, 54% of the panel agreed direct marketing was the least trustworthy form of corporate communications, a total standing at 43% for email.

When considering different types of content, 31% of the sample placed faith in professionally-edited material, exactly the same amount as posted by content generated by consumers.

Upon being asked about the News of the World, 74% of respondents stated their opinions covering all paid-for media had been negatively impacted.

Some 46% of 45-54 year olds questioned asserted their views had been "permanently" damaged by this event, as did 47% of individuals aged 55 years old and above.

Totals on this measure fell to 29% for 18-24 year olds and 35% among 25-34 year olds.

By region, 52% of contributors in Wales revealed their attitudes have been undermined, a score hitting 50% in Northern Ireland, 48% in Scotland, 45% in the North of England, 44% in the Midlands and 38% in London.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff