The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Trust in media - worrying European numbers

A Harris poll on trust in institutions shows alarming gullibility levels this side of the pond.

For instance, to a question Do you tend to trust, or tend not to trust various media, the response in the US is heartening: for press, radio and TV, the numbers are 22-62, 43-33 and 22-58.

Whereas, in the EU, the numbers are 47-46, 62-29 and 54-39 [1].

Any substantive reasons why the EU's media should deserve so much more trust than the US's? There is no right-wing talk radio or Fox News; but, for example, there is Berlusconi in Italy [2], and a history of government influence over French TV (though not so much in recent years, I think).

(The European written press tends to be openly ideological, while its broadcasting is conformist through being either owned or influenced by the state. Conformist is so very far from objective in the American sense - which is, of course, warped in its own way.)

  1. The margins in France: 60-36, 67-28 and 48-48; in the UK, 20-73, 59-29 and 54-37.

  2. The Italian trust numbers for TV are 37-54 - worse than the EU average, but nowhere near as bad as the US number.

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