Trust in Media

Jul 25, 2011

Q. How much trust do you have in what you read or hear in the following media?

Total a lot/some

15 Mar 10

Total a lot /some A lot of trust Some trust Not much trust No trust at all Don’t know Don’t use
News and opinion in daily newspapers 62% 53% 6% 47% 29% 10% 2% 6%
News and opinion in local newspapers 54% 6% 48% 29% 8% 2% 6%
Commercial TV news and current affairs 64% 48% 5% 43% 30% 17% 2% 3%
ABC TV news and current affairs 70% 71% 23% 48% 15% 6% 2% 6%
Commercial radio news and current affairs 54% 46% 4% 42% 32% 12% 3% 7%
ABC radio news and current affairs 62% 67% 21% 46% 17% 4% 2% 10%
Commercial radio talkback programs 38% 33% 5% 28% 32% 22% 3% 10%
ABC radio talkback programs 45% 47% 10% 37% 27% 9% 3% 13%
News and opinion websites 49% 41% 5% 36% 35% 12% 3% 9%
Internet blogs 20% 20% 2% 18% 35% 25% 5% 16%

Trust in media has dropped in all the types of media listed above since 15th March 2010 – except for ABC outlets, which have actually increased slightly.

ABC TV news and current affairs collects the highest number of people who have a lot/some trust (71%). This is followed by ABC radio news and current affairs (67%).

The lowest level of trust was recorded for internet blog (20% – the same as in March 2010). This was followed by commercial radio talkback programs (33%).

The biggest drop in trust was for Commercial TV news and current affairs which dropped from 64% to 49% for the total number of people who selected a lot/some trust.

Another big drop was in the level of trust for news and opinion in daily newspapers, which dropped from 62% in March 2010 to 53% for the total number of people who selected a lot/some trust.

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Trust in Newspapers

Jul 25, 2011

Q. How much trust do you have in what you read in the following newspapers?

A lot of trust Some trust Not much trust No trust at all Don’t know
The Australian 16% 53% 19% 8% 5%
The Telegraph (NSW only) 7% 45% 25% 21% 2%
Sydney Morning Herald (NSW only) 20% 54% 19% 6% 1%
The Age (Victoria only) 23% 56% 15% 3% 3%
Herald Sun (Victoria only) 7% 47% 32% 12% 2%
Courier Mail (Queensland only) 9% 56% 22% 12% 1%

* Note : Percentages based only on respondents who had read each newspaper.

Among those who have read each newspaper, 23% have a lot of trust in The Age and 20% have a lot of trust in the SMH. 16% of readers of The Australian have a lot of trust in the newspaper but only 7% have a lot of trust in The Telegraph and The Herald Sun.  46% have not much or no trust in The Telegraph and 44% have not much or no trust in The Herald Sun.

Liberal/National voters (21% and 57%) are more likely than Labor voters (17% and 50%) to have a lot or some trust in the Australian.

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Concern about Phone Hacking

Jul 25, 2011

Q. Have the recent events in Britain concerning phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper, made you more or less concerned about the conduct of Australian newspapers?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Total more concerned 51% 56% 48% 68%
Total less concerned 5% 5% 4% 3%
Much more concerned 15% 19% 11% 26%
A little more concerned 36% 37% 37% 42%
A little less concerned 4% 4% 4% 3%
Much less concerned 1% 1% >1%
Makes no difference 38% 33% 44% 26%
Don’t know 6% 6%

Just over half (51%) of respondents are more concerned about the conduct of Australian newspapers following the recent events in Britain. 5% are less concerned, 38% say it makes no difference and 6% stated don’t know.

Green voters were more likely to state that they were more concerned (68%). Labor voters (56%) were more likely than Liberal voters (48%) to state that they were more concerned.

There was no substantial difference between the genders, states or age groups.

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Media Ownership in Australia

Jul 25, 2011

Q. Rupert Murdoch owns most of Australia’s metropolitan newspapers including the Australian, Herald Sun, the Telegraph and the Courier Mail. Should the Government allow one company to own the majority of Australia’s major newspapers?

Total

1 Nov 10

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Should allow 15% 9% 8% 13% 4%
Should not allow 50% 58% 60% 53% 76%
Don’t care 26% 23% 22% 26% 12%
Don’t know 9% 10% 11% 8% 8%

58% of respondents stated that the Government should not allow one company to own the majority of Australia’s major newspapers. This is an increase on the 50% who stated the same thing in November 2010.

Just 9% of respondents think that the Government should allow one company to own the majority of Australia’s major newspapers (a drop for the 15% who said the same thing in November 2010.

Green voters (76%) were the most likely to state that the Government should not allow one company to own the majority of Australia’s major newspapers, followed by Labor (60%) and Lib/Nat voters (53%).

Females (62%) were more likely than males (54%) to select ‘should not allow’.

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Regulation of Media

Jul 25, 2011

Q. Thinking about the media in Australia, do you think there needs to be more or less regulation of the media or is the present level of regulation about right?

Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Needs to be more regulation 48% 54% 39% 73%
Needs to be less regulation 6% 5% 6% 3%
Present regulation about right 31% 26% 40% 15%
Don’t know 15% 15% 13% 9%

48% of respondents think that there needs to be more regulation of media in Australia. 31% think that the current level of regulation in about right.

Green voters (73%) are the most likely to think that there needs to be more regulation. This is followed by those that vote Labor (54%) and those that vote Lib/Nat (39%).

There was little difference between the genders, states or ages.

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Perceptions of Media

May 2, 2011

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree Total disagree Strongly agree Agree Disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
The media usually reports the news accurately 35% 54% 2% 33% 41% 13% 12%
The media usually reports all sides of a story 21% 69% 1% 20% 46% 23% 10%
The media is too critical of government and politicians in Australia 29% 57% 4% 25% 46% 11% 14%
These days I rely more on the internet than newspapers and TV for my news and information about politics. 44% 46% 12% 32% 37% 9% 10%
I trust the media more than I trust politicians 37% 43% 4% 33% 33% 10% 20%
I trust politicians more than I trust the media 16% 65% 1% 15% 44% 21% 18%
The media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable 45% 43% 3% 42% 31% 12% 12%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Liberal Party 19% 55% 4% 15% 44% 11% 26%
Overall, the media are politically biased in favour of the Labor Party 23% 50% 5% 18% 41% 9% 25%
The media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies 70% 18% 21% 49% 15% 3% 12%
There is too much coverage of politics in the media 34% 52% 7% 27% 45% 7% 14%
The media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues 40% 48% 2% 38% 36% 12% 12%
I follow the news closely every day 57% 38% 10% 47% 32% 6% 6%

The majority of respondents disagree that the media usually reports all sides of a story (69%) and that the media reports the news accurately (54%).

However, they tend to trust the media a little more than they trust politicians – 37% agree they trust the media more and 16% agree they trust politicians more.

The results also indicate that respondents want more rather than less coverage of politics – only 34% agree that there is too much coverage of politics and 57% disagree that the media is too critical of government and politicians.

Respondents were divided over whether the media does a good job of scrutinizing politics and holding politicians accountable (45% agree/43% disagree) and tended to disagree that the media does a good job of helping people to understand political and social issues (40% agree/48% disagree).

70% agree that the media are too focused on personalities and not enough on policies.

A minority of respondents think the media are biased – 23% think they are biased in favour of the Labor Party and 19% in favour of the Liberal Party.

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