View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Data
May 31, 2023

UK newsbrand trust rankings: The Sun is least-trusted and BBC and FT lead the way

The Financial Times had the highest net trust score among the 32 outlets ranked.

By Aisha Majid

The Sun is the least trusted newsbrand in the UK and the BBC is the most trusted, according to new research by Yougov.

Over two in five respondents (44%) to the survey of 2,000 UK adults said the BBC was “very trustworthy” or “trustworthy” – the highest scoring outlet on this measurement.

Financial Times leads for ‘net’ trust

When it came to net trust – i.e. total people that trusted a particular outlet taking into account those that did not – the Financial Times came out on top with a net trust score of +30 among the 32 outlets included in the research. Four in ten people (40%) said that they trusted the FT compared to 10% who did not.

It was followed by ITV, which had a net trust score of +28, and Channel 4 on +27, as broadcasters dominated the top of the list.

High levels of trust in the BBC were offset by relatively high levels of distrust (21%), giving the public broadcaster a net trust score of +22.

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.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Sun least trusted newsbrand in UK

The Sun came in last as the news outlet most likely to be considered untrustworthy. Over half (59%) of respondents said that the Sun was untrustworthy with 36% saying that it was "very untrustworthy" in their view. Some 6% of people considered the brand trustworthy, giving it a net trust score of -53.

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

Asked about the survey findings, a spokesperson for the Sun said: "The Sun is the best read newsbrand in the UK and we are proud of our record of standing up for our readers, and campaigning on their behalf."

Tabloids on the whole scored poorly for trust with the Express (net trust score of -31), Daily Mail (-37), Mirror (-37) and Star (-50) also coming in near the bottom of the list.

News UK-owned TalkTV/Talkradio outperformed GB News for trust. TalkTV/radio’s net trust score was -5, compared to -15 for GB News, although levels of trust were slightly higher for GB News at 12% versus 9% for TalkTV/radio.

Trust in news among UK audiences has been falling overall in recent years according to multiple surveys. The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism's latest Digital News Report similarly found The Sun was the UK’s least trusted newsbrand included in the survey, with 67% of people saying they did not trust its content, followed by the Daily Mail (51%) and the Daily Mirror (23%).

A Press Gazette analysis of Reuters Institute data found that while the BBC remained the most trusted newsbrand in the country, its trust score had fallen dramatically in recent years, declining by 20 percentage points between 2018 and 2022.

Gen Z show high levels of trust in the BBC

Among respondents to the Yougov survey aged 18 to 24, the BBC was the most-trusted outlet with 51% of Gen Z saying they trusted the public service broadcaster – higher than the general population. Other outlets trusted by this generation included The Guardian (41%) and Channel 4 (37%).

Among older respondents, the BBC, ITV and Financial Times were most trusted. More 50 to 64 year olds said they trusted the BBC than any other outlet (42%), followed by the FT and ITV (41% each).

Labour voters favour The Guardian

Those who voted Labour in the 2019 general election were most likely to trust The Guardian (net trust score of +41), Channel 4 (+49) and ITV (+37). Conservative voters gave the highest net trust score to the Financial Times (+32), ITV (+24) and The Times (+22).

The Financial Times was among several outlets including ITV, The Times, BBC, Reuters and The Economist trusted by voters of both main political parties.

Among the most polarising outlets were the Daily Mail, The Guardian and GB News which saw a wide disparity between their trust level depending on political affiliation.

The Guardian, for example, had a net trust score of +41 among those who voted Labour in 2019 compared to -6 among Conservatives.

GB News in contrast had a net trust score of +7 among Conservative voters and -39 among Labour voters. Conservative voters also showed a marked preference towards the Daily Mail.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network