We Media about to start, but first, the poll results!

How cool is this? The We Media Global Forum is being held in the studio for the BBC’s Top of the Pops!

Final touches are being made (I just got a place to plug in a power cord, whew!) but that doesn’t mean the information digestion has to wait. The results of The Media Center / BBC / Reuters trust in the media poll are in and provide some interesting insights.

A 10-nation poll conducted for Reuters, the BBC and The Media Center across four continents, finds that in a world of committed news junkies, trust in the news provider is a key issue. While some 72 percent of respondents characterized themselves as keen news followers, almost three in ten people have abandoned a media source over the past year due to a lack of trust in its content. In developing nations the media is trusted more than government, but government wins out over the media in the US, Britain, and Germany. Americans are the most critical of news providers, with 69 percent not believing that news media report all sides. Conducted by polling company GlobeScan as part of this week’s Reuters / BBC / Media Center ‘We Media’ Forum, a major 10-nation public opinion poll exploring trust in the media has found that even though the media is more trusted than the national government in half the countries surveyed, significant numbers of people are switching news sources because they do not trust the information they receive. A total of 10,230 adults were questioned in the UK, USA, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, and South Korea in March and April 2006.

We encourage you to weigh in with your comments either on this post, or on the live chat on the main We Media Forum site.

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Previous Comments

The poll, as presented, seems totally counterilluminating. Country with government run media=more trust. As in Egypt; three times more trust media than government, even if they are the same. Free media=less trust. Does poll mainly reflect sophistication of those polled?

I have taught journalism all over the world, and certainly agree with the findings in broad outline. But I suspect the effective sample sizes are vastly different from country to country. In the US, comparison with similar surveys suggest that of the 1000 sampled, only 300 or so are actually regular consumers of news, although they would never admit that to the poll taker!

In developing countries, of course, you are sampling urban elites — a small percentage of the population and one that is often closely tied to government (or are government employees).

In the US and UK, the numbers do not come close to tracking what people actually read and watch! For instance, in the US network news has about 10 times the ratings of cable news and about the same CUME over a week, yet the cable channels, CNN and Fox, are mentioned 3-4 times more frequently. C-SPAN, with a CUME of about 390 million a week, doesn’t show up at all.

This may be a better way: Poll known subscribers/viewers of various media. Use local journalism students to go into the countrysides and interview face-to-face.

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