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August 10, 2023

MPs’ most trusted news brands: FT and Times top the table

Conservative MPs trust The Times and The Telegraph the most.

By Charlotte Tobitt

The Financial Times is the most-trusted news outlet by MPs, according to a new Yougov survey.

Some 70% of 108 UK MPs surveyed by Yougov in July said they trusted the FT. It had the biggest proportion (22%) of MPs who found it to be “very trustworthy” out of all of the 15 prominent outlets included in the survey. Meanwhile 12% of MPs said the business newspaper was untrustworthy or very untrustworthy.

The survey shows MPs agree with the general public, who also deemed the FT to be the most-trusted outlet in a previous survey published in May.

The second most-trusted news outlet was The Times, which was trusted by 63% of MPs and distrusted by 11%.

Next was ITV News, making it the highest-ranked broadcaster with a 45% trust score versus a 14% untrustworthy score. It was followed by Channel 4 News (52% trusted) and then BBC News (48%). Sky News was not included in the survey.

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Broadcaster 5 News was the news outlet about which MPs were most neutral, with 46% saying it was neither trustworthy nor untrustworthy.

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Broadcasters are generally more neutral in their politics coverage than newspapers as Ofcom has strict due impartiality rules.

The least-trusted outlet was the Daily Mail, trusted by 19% and distrusted by 58%. This differed from the general public, among whom The Sun and Mirror had lower untrustworthy scores than the Mail.

GB News, the newest outlet on the list, had the same untrustworthy score as the Daily Mail but had a higher trust score of 24%.

The Guardian appeared to be the most divisive newsbrand on the list, trusted by 41% of MPs and distrusted by 42%.

Among the 54 Conservative MPs surveyed - the only political party that Yougov said provided a sample size big enough to look at in detail - The Times was the most-trusted (68%) with The Telegraph (56%) jumping up the ranking to take second place ahead of the FT (53%) in third.

ITV News (45%) remained the most trusted broadcaster, but was followed by GB News (trusted by 37% of Conservative MPs) which has a number of sitting Tory MPs as presenters including Jacob Rees-Mogg.

BBC News, which sparks debate among MPs over the licence fee, fell down the list with a trustworthy score of 28%, followed by Channel 4 News (24%) which has had a tumultuous relationship with the Conservative Party for several years. The programme used an ice sculpture to represent no-show Boris Johnson during a climate debate in 2019 while last year presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy was briefly taken off-air after calling Conservative MP Steve Baker a "c**t".

Left-wing newspapers The Mirror (6%) and The Guardian (18%), and politically-neutral but campaigning The Independent (18%), were the least trusted by Conservative MPs.

Most and least trusted newsbrands among the general public:

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Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
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