Politicians more trusted than the media

Just before the local elections this very interesting piece of research was published by Globespan on behalf of the BBC (PDF download). It revealed that more people trust the government in Britain than they do the media. Most of the PR commentators on blogs have focused on the fact that blogs were the least trusted source. However, I’m just as interested in this finding.

I’m frequently angered when I hear intelligent people accusing politicians of spin and how the public are losing faith with politics and government. Well yes they are. But whose fault is it?

Most of it is down to a bunch of lying b*****ds called political journalists. Sorry for the strong language, but these people are a disgrace to the profession of journalism. Lots of political activists don’t trust the media and think that all journalists are bad and out to get them. On the whole that’s not true. Most journalists on regional newspapers, consumer magazines and business magazines are fantastically independent, ethical and truthful. Most political journalists in the national press, TV and radio are more interested in spinning their own agenda.

The main reason that politicians spin is that you can’t trust political journalists to report the truth. It is political journalists who are interested in political tittle tattle, personality politics, feuds and other such rubbish. It isn’t what most voters are interested in but it’s all they get given. Politicians want to talk about issues that matter on the doorstep – crime, grime, the economy, schools, hospitals, roads but the political journalists only want to pay lip service to these issues.

I am a Labour Party member but this isn’t about how my party is covered. They treat the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats with the same contempt. In reality all three main parties are made up largely of hard-working, dedicated people who put in hours adding up to years of work to make Britain a better place and help their fellow man. We all have different policies and beliefs about how this should be achieved but we are united in doing it for the common good. What are political journalists in it for?

Blogs might rank even lower in trust but as Shel Holtz says does that mean blogs or blog? People might not trust the blogosphere as a whole but they are likely to trust a blog that they know well.

Increasingly we will see politicians by-passing the liars media and reaching out to voters in different ways which will include blogs and podcasts. Often these will be targeted at micro-audiences so that people can build up a rapport with the author and come to understand and trust them.

Also worth reading are:

Neville Hobson on The continuing case for cutting out the middlemen and The real symbiosis between PR and journalism.

Philip Young on The case for spin…

David Tebbutt on The middleman is dead: long live the middleman

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About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
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