UMR Research has today [7 October] released the results of a survey of New Zealanders that show, on the whole, that we don’t trust the news media.
As UMR Executive Editor Tim Grafton said in a company media release, the findings really come as “no surprise”.
What would have been newsworthy and surprising, would be a survey that says the news media’s doing well in terms of accuracy, balance and a willingness to admit mistakes.Nearly two-thirds of respondents felt there was a problem with the media: only 35 per cent said the media was accurate, 30 per cent that the news was balanced and only 27 per cent believed the media was willing to admit to mistakes.
Age and gender also appear to influence the results, which is also not surprising really. We might expect older men to be more inclined to read newspapers and therefore perhaps more inclined to complain and to notice potential problems.
The real issue is what, if anything, the news media – or more accurately perhaps, editors and senior journalists – are going to do about their poor standings.