Phone hacking scandal has reduced public’s trust in UK media

The phone hacking scandal has reduced the UK public’s trust in newspapers, with TV and radio now the most trusted forms of media in the country.


More than half (58%) of UK adults say their trust in the country’s papers has been reduced by the scandal, according to a PBS and YouGov study. About one in two (51%) respondents also say the incident has reduced their level of trust in media as a whole.

“Traditional media”, such as TV and radio, were found to be the most trusted outlets in the UK, with around two thirds (65% for TV and 58% for radio) of people agreeing this to be the case, despite these channels now being more scrutinised for accurate reporting than ever before.

Digital media such as social networks and blogs were found to be the least trusted media and are relied upon more for opinion and gossip than factual reporting, although 55% say they believe websites were trustworthy.

The majority of adults also feel the media frequently lies to its audience and that content has been “dumbed down” in recent years.

The US public trusts their newspaper industry more than any other media business, although 27% said the phone hacking scandal reduced their trust in UK papers.

Revelations about the questionable journalistic tactics some reporters and executives used at the News of the World to obtain their stories rocked the country and the media industry when they were revealed in July.

The scandal led to the closure of the paper, parliamentary select committee hearings about the affair and several resignations, including owner company News International’s former chief executive Rebekah Brooks.

Lord Justice Leveson begins his inquiry today (14 November) into the role of newspapers and the way they are regulated, which was triggered by the News of the World incident. The inquiry is expected to last a year.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here