Believe it or not, survey finds number of people who trust journalists to tell the truth is at a 30-year high

The likelihood is you won't believe this news report. But public trust in journalists to tell the truth is at a 30-year high, according to a survey.

According to an Ipsos Mori study, one in four UK adults now trust journalists to tell the truth.

Some 70 per cent of the 990 UK adults said they would not trust journalists to tell the truth and 5 per cent said they did not know.

Journalists are trusted less than hairdressers (who 69 per cent said they trusted to tell the truth), an ordinary man or woman in the street (68 per cent), NHS managers (49 per cent), charity chief executives (47 per cent), trade union officials (46 per cent), local councillors (43 per cent), bankers (37 per cent) and draw level with estate agents on 25 per cent.

But solace can be taken from the fact that government ministers (22 per cent) and politicians generally (21 per cent) are trusted to tell the truth less.

TV presenters, who get their own category, are trusted by 65 per cent, according to the survey.

The 25 per cent in the 2015 survey was up from 22 per cent in 2014 and 21 per cent in 2013.

The first survey result on record from Ipsos Mori was for 1983 when 19 per cent trusted journalists to tell the truth.

Ten years later, this figure was 10 per cent and, at the turn of the millennium it had raised to 15 per cent. 

Trust in journalists reached 20 per cent for the first time in 2004, according to Ipsos Mori, and reached 22 per cent in 2009. 

At this point, there was another dip to 19 per cent in 2011 – the year the Leveson Inquiry was started in response to the phone-hacking scandal.

Whether or not the figures can be trusted is up for debate. Ipsos Mori also found that a third of those surveyed (34 per cent) did not trust pollsters.

Year Percentage of public who trust journalists to tell the truth Not to tell the truth Don't know
1983 19 73 8
1993 10 84 6
1997 15 76 9
1999 15 79 6
2000 15 78 6
2001 18 75 8
2002 13 79 8
2003 18 75 7
2004 20 72 8
2005 16 77 8
2006 19 72 9
2007 18 75 7
2008 19 70 6
2009 22 72
2011 19 70 11
2013 21   72  7
2014 22   72
2015 25  70   5

Picture: Shutterstock

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