Left-wingers have lost trust in media since 2019 election

Remember the claim that Matt Hancock's aide was punched?

There has been a sharp drop in left-wing peoples’ confidence in the UK media since the 2019 general election, a new study has found.

A study by the Reuters Institute found that left-leaning peoples’ trust in the media fell from 38% in January 2019 to 15% in January 2020.

A seperate earlier study from Loughborough University concluded “press hostility to Labour reaches new levels in 2019 election”.

The study found that, in the election’s last week, newspapers’ hostility to Labour was more than double what it was in the 2017 election and that negative coverage of the Tories had halved.

One of the Loughborough study’s authors, Professor David Deacon, said: “Labour may have had a rough ride in the 2017 General Election, but it paled by comparison with the 2019 campaign”.

This study only examined newspapers who are not constrained by the anti-bias rules which broadcasters have to follow.

However, broadcast journalists were also accused of bias during the election. ITV’s Robert Peston and the BBC’s Laura Kuensberg both reported as fact a false claim that Health Secretary Matt Hancock had been punched by Labour activists.

The claim had been made by an aide of Matt Hancock. Although a video showed the claim was false, the aide (who has not been identified) and the reporters faced no repercussions.

As Health Secretary, Matt Hancock has gone on to make more false claims. He has misled the public with statements about the tracing app, about testing figures, about ventilators and about PPE.

Left-wing trust in the press began to fall in 2015, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected. It then remained relatively steady until the 2019 election.

Of the democractic countries, the Reuters Institute’s study found the UK’s press is one of of the least trusted by its own people. Of the 40 the study measured, the UK’s was the 34th most trusted.

The study also showed that The Sun is the least trusted news outlet among British people as a whole. Around 60% of Brits say they don’t trust it while just 16% do.

This echoes the results of a previous study which found the public regard the Sun and the Daily Mail’s coronavirus coverage as the worst.

On the other hand, both studies found that the Guardian was among the most-trusted newspapers.

The Financial Times and The Independent are also well-trusted. They are followed by the Times, the Telegraph, HuffPost, The Daily Mail, BuzzFeed News, the Daily Mirror and (finally) The Sun.

Joe Lo is a co-editor of Left Foot Forward

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