Trust us, we're the BBC

A story on the BBC News website says that according to a BBC-backed poll, people trust news websites, like BBC News, more than governments. Normally one would frown on such self-congratulatory stories. But we forgive the Beeb, because we trust them. This is all becoming a bit circular, and my head is beginning to hurt.

The full poll results are available in PDF form. But the key bits on the UK audience are:

  • TV remains Brits’ main news source (mentioned first by 55%), with internet (8%) trailing just behind radio (12%). I’m a bit uneasy about this ‘mentioned first’ measure, though, as I don’t know which one I’d say first. In fact, I don’t know which one I’d place first. It’s radio in the early morning, internet through the day, and TV at night.
  • We trust national TV (86%) almost twice as much as we trust web news sources (44%). Oh, and apparently we trust national TV more than we trust our own friends and family (78%). How depressing.
  • The BBC is still, by far, the most trusted single news source (32%). I’m surprised to see ITV News (8%) ranking higher than Sky (7%), albeit marginally.

The most scary stat of all comes from the US data: the most trusted specific news source is ‘fair and balanced’ Fox News. Who was it said that if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth?