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Confidence In Media Plummets

April 15, 2020

By Paul Homewood



Guido has news of a very interesting recent poll:


The Coronavirus crisis has driven gains in confidence in almost all UK institutions, except for one. A new survey from Kekst CNC (which tracks public opinion in the UK, USA, Germany and Sweden) has found the British public has increased confidence in Government, the health service, food retailers, and even financial services. The media, however, is the only institution polled in the UK that saw a drop in confidence – people are losing confidence in the likes of Peston and Piers even whilst they are gaining viewers. The joint-largest drop of all four countries…


The details of the poll by Kekst is here, and below is the background to that particular chart:



It tends to back up other polls in the US, which confirm record levels of support for Trump, but at the same time rock bottom confidence in the media.

In my opinion, this poll is part of a much more entrenched loss of trust in the media in the UK. We have already seen how badly the broadcast media, trapped in their metropolitan bubble, lost touch with what most of the country were thinking about Brexit and December’s general election.

As for the press, many now realise that newspapers are more interested in hysterical headlines than facts, and that most reporters no longer seem to have the skills required of proper journalism, to check facts, investigate and never trust what you have been told. Instead, far too many journalists have never had the proper grounding needed to do their job properly, and are too eager to cut and paste whatever fits their world view.


Maybe this has ever been so, but nowadays we have the internet. Although there is an awful lot of fake news out there, it is not difficult to get to the facts. And far too often, these facts show just how badly the press are doing in reporting objectively.

  1. Simon Kelly permalink
    April 15, 2020 10:18 pm

    Even my 86 year old very liberal mother told me the other day that she couldn’t watch the TV news at present. She’s been a BBC devotee all her life and takes everything they tell her as the gospel truth.

  2. A R Clapham permalink
    April 15, 2020 10:41 pm

    Apart from Local News I avoid the Biased Broadcasting Company’s Socialist slant and watch ITV or Sky News.

    • April 15, 2020 11:21 pm

      A R Clapham I avoid them for their intelligence services slant …. the establishment who want to reshape the middle east whilst telling us whoppers about we are interfering …. nothing to do with left or right everything to do with the establishment.

  3. April 15, 2020 11:47 pm

    As a trained proof reader, the grasp of the English language, spelling and grammar in the majority of articles leaves much to be desired! (not mentioning the provable lies and miss truths)

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 16, 2020 9:58 am

      Mis 😂

  4. markl permalink
    April 16, 2020 12:13 am

    They are just figuring this out? It has been going on and increasing through the years. There is rarely any “news” anymore as it has been turned into oped.

  5. Mack permalink
    April 16, 2020 1:02 am

    Good analysis Paul. All of the mainstream newspaper titles and major TVs channels in the U.K. have lost their way. The occasional article or documentary that bucks the trend are mere outliers, albeit refreshing for their increasingly novelty. Hence, the rise of the bloggerati etc.

    Interestingly, the main British TVs channels lean to the left yet the public, if Brexit and recent national and local elections are anything to go by, tend to lead more to the right and yet there is no natural TV home for the majority in this country. What chances a UK version of Fox News or Sky News Australia? Were the naturally conservative British public to be exposed to less woke/liberal bias and wishful thinking and more common sense, history, experience and demonstrable expertise then we will all be in a happier place. Unless you read the Guardian, of course. But, heh ho, that’s not a bad place to be.

  6. peter brown permalink
    April 16, 2020 6:06 am

    Totally correct , the continuous media negative of CV19 coverage is in itself an epidemic.

    Out of touch, factually incorrect, unreachable, journalistic nobodies who fell in love with their own ego years ago.

    What the media detest is that this government has acted magnificently and bonded with public sector bodies, particularly the NHS and UK society on a broader level.

    Could you imagine a situation where the journos were asked to to manage, organise and produce a response and keep a lid on CV19 ? They cannot switch on and test their mics leaving it on mute when trying to find fault and demand apologies to professionals trying to do their best, under unique circumstances.

    Maybe their coverage could show my nephew who has worked the last 21 nights building a new Nightingale hospital At Washington,near Nissan in the North East and is now totally struggling to shake off the disorientation. Something positive.

    There is a time to come when the media will have to analyse and show graphs where they dug their own graves we can see it clearly …. they can’t.

  7. Dom permalink
    April 16, 2020 6:52 am

    And each evening we are subjected to the Press Conference where the minister, scientists and medics are subjected to inane questions and insults…these people are working tirelessly to save lives and do their best to help others in need. Who do the Press think they represent…your poll clearly shows it is not us!

  8. April 16, 2020 8:34 am

    After a period of indelicacy and name calling, Paul, our hero, has leapt into life today. I can imagine his frustration at events but had become rather concerned about the need to lampoon our detractors. I am not entirely sure that the condition of the Fourth Estate is much to do with us, although, it is true, any paper within our realm can produce something dumb and excitable unbidden. But these are the unalterable conditions of a free press.

    It must be of some comfort that those of my acquaintance have formed a habit of not listening to broadcast media news because the constant diet of ‘what if’ and the turgid hours of conjecture do nothing for the psyche and after a length of time look like crying wolf. It must be of cheer the fact that Boris Johnson’s ratings and those of the conduct of the state, along with Trump, are still high, in the face of an implacable enemy there are some that are not about to quake and capitulate. It is almost as though, in many instances, best that we do not have Corbyn-2020. Paul, keep up the good work but please, in your anxiety and tension, don’t resort to being a tabloid,

  9. Malcolm Bell permalink
    April 16, 2020 8:35 am

    Exactly right.

    The current crop of journalists cannot speak English, either in pronunciation or grammar (have they ever heard of the subjunctive?) and promote such horrors as “I was stood near..”. That someone lightweight like Fiona Bruce can be so ubiquitous in heavy weight programmes is unimaginable.

    Watching the daily government C-19 reports starkly shows up the questioning journalists as lacking in analysis, originality and even the ability to think on their feet, Their prime objective is to be destructive and trap the Ministers into making a mistake.

    It would be easy to say they are anti Brexit, anti authority left wing green metropolitans. The reality is that they don’t know what they are because despite whatever “elite” education they have they seem to know nothing except contemporary “celebrity” culture. No history, no science, no maths, no classics, no art, nothing about industry or economics. Their manners are bad (please and thank you for a start) having abandoned respect long ago.

    Until recently education started with the foundation of the trivia: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This bunch seem to have never to have heard of them, certainly don’t know them. They care only for the populist rumour and not a fig for truth.

    But what do I know, I am an Engineer trained in truth, logic, fact and reason committed to creating jobs for the people of my country and developing its history and culture of fairness ( a sort of definitely not Marxian socialism).

    • April 16, 2020 7:08 pm

      I am a physicist by degree, engineer by profession, and MBA by experience, so what works ypu can make and sell to do something useful r uS.

      POINT: Rhetoric was not taught to me at any time. That’s BS isn’t it? What politicians and salesmen do. If engineers and scientists could dfo rhetoric we wouldn’t have the climate change = renewable energy = CO2 scam. None of these are true in hard science fac, simple sustained by rhetoric and well funded pseudo science that is paid to keep it afloat.

      IT survives because believer politicians are happy to say whatever comes into their minds they think the audience will like. or re[peat the departmental briefing they loosely grasp and know is untrue, being arts graduates or with PPE degrees, so uneducated to understand what makes a technological numerate society work.

      Media , the civil service and politics are mostly run by arts graduates with opinions but no understanding, who make laws according to dogma and what they like the sound of, in my 77 years experience. If they need some science, they pay a University to prove it, not to test it as real scientists used to.

      With this formation, how else can they behave? We’re all doomed by the vacuous elites that run the country, doomed I tell you…., doomed, doomed, doomed.

      PS Its amazing we can survive so long on wrong theories, as Feynman explained in his lectures… the point of this one is sort of rhetorical and SO important., as it defines the modern pseudo sciences no one can prove, which have been carefully designed that way to create excuses to pass laws to solve nojn existent problems that make easy money to no actual benefit for taxpayers, just insiders, and as a reward ensure useless careers in academe for middle class kids at taxpayers expense, who will never do anything useful for the people who pay them.

      You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. So the new science keeps inventing them, because as they offer careers in unprovable sciences such as social, economics, or climate change that will never end, as long as the original theory is accepted as useful/of value, or until someone finds a way to prove or disprove the underlying premise, as has now happened with any human effect disproved as a significant contributor to observed climate change. But who knows? The truth is hard to tell unless you can master the rhetoric and have access to the media, who have promoted the story you can disprove with hard evidence……

  10. Phoenix44 permalink
    April 16, 2020 9:03 am

    There’s no doubt our mainstream media have performed very badly during the COVID epidemic. The first few weeks were spent trying to show up the government and pressuring it into a full lockdown, and since then they have focused on hysterical reporting of every death. Most don’t even understand the very basic stuff they are reporting – for example announced deaths each day are not “deaths in the last 24 hours” as C4 and others claim. Online they are worse, producing graphs that take no account of population let alone the different ways countries report deaths.

    The media have been embarrassing in their ignorance, stupid in their desire to criticise the government based simply on what some other countries are doing and utterly lazy in not dithering to find out what they are actually reporting.

    • Paul H permalink
      April 16, 2020 12:07 pm

      In the North West Granada land, we have a new-ish reporter, Hannah Miller, who emanates loathing of Boris and all things Conservative as she reports for the evening regional news. Her eyes have a certain squint and her mouth seems to curl down at the edges to produce an effect of visceral negativity. Perhaps I’m over the top and being hyper critical, but I won’t be far off.

  11. Ray Sanders permalink
    April 16, 2020 9:37 am

    I regularly email the Guardian (Readers Editor) to point out the numerous howlers they print. In fairness they nearly always issue corrections and state they have done so. The real issue though is why are the journos so incompetent in the first place.
    This example is a classic by Jillian Ambrose.
    The article originally read…… “The faster than expected wind speeds could help increase the amount of renewable electricity generated by windfarms by more than a third to 3.3m kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2024.”
    So as well as emailing dear silly Jilly to point out the following

    “You may wish to reconsider your numbers.
    One thousand kWh is one Megwatt hour (MWh)
    One thousand MWh is one Gigawatt hour (GWh)
    One thousand times one thousand is one million.
    Therefore you are stating that 3.3m kWh is 3.3GWh.
    UK generation alone in 2018 was 57.1 TWh (Terawatt hours) – aTWh is a thousand GWh.”

    I also emailed the Readers Editor to point out the daft error.
    The article was amended to read
    “The faster than expected wind speeds could help increase the amount of renewable electricity generated by each turbine by more than a third to 3.3m kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2024.”
    And a correction footnote was added stating

    “The article was updated on 19 November 2019 to reflect a correction notice from Cardiff University. The original press statement said higher wind speeds could help increase wind power output by more than a third to 3.3m kilowatt hours (kWh) by 2024. After publication, the university said the figures refer to the output of one wind turbine. This has been corrected.”

    I have not been able to find any correction notice issued by Cardiff University and they themselves claim to have never issued one nor needed to. The real issue is how can anyone claiming to be an “Energy Correspondent” have so little understanding of the subject to have published such an absurd error in the first place.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      April 16, 2020 10:01 am

      Common Purpose graduate? Or boss’s mistress?

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    April 16, 2020 10:20 am

    Brexit did really show up just how bad the legacy media are given that they couldn’t even understand membership of the customs union and i am not sure they even do now.

    I do struggle a bit with confidence increasing in government since the Morons of Parliament also had little idea about the customs union membership which if you can’t get a tiny aspect like this correct what hope is there for the bigger stuff. The USA is performing better and are finding that lots of petty rules can be dispensed with to get things done begging the question as to whether the rules should ever return. Doesn’t seem to be the case in the UK where NHS bureaucrats are still making things worse than they should be.

  13. Vernon E permalink
    April 16, 2020 10:52 am

    I think that it is important to remember, when addressing “fake news” that falsehoods can be conveyed by both commission and omission. The Beeb is especially proficient at the latter.
    That’s why this site, and Guido (and others) are so important.

    • Ray sanders permalink
      April 16, 2020 11:20 am

      Errors of omission are by far the worst and usually by deliberate omission rather than genuine error. Take this example below detailing alleged ” climate basics – climate science”
      It manages to discuss the greenhouse effect and greenhouse gases without a single mention of the dominant greenhouse gas – water vapour. I simply cannot accept that that omission was an oversight. I believe in accounting terms that errors of (deliberate) omssion are the most frequent cause of “cooking the books” i.e Fraud……….bit like most climate science!

    • April 16, 2020 7:39 pm

      What? Like “Scientists say” that the latest whateveritis piece of isolated unqualified ‘news” is the worst “since records began” means that end of the world “could” happen, sometime.

      Or if its certifiable evidence free delusion you want, Chris Packham or Dotty Sir Dave are encouraged to present what is overtly contrived deceit presented as documentary fact, that anyone can quickly self validate as such. BUT MOST DON’T.

      Because many still trust the BBC which has become so compromised by the left wing middle class activists, with no understanding but a lot of opinions that must be believed, it no longer justifies the licence fee for its news and other fact based transmissions, at least. On the facts i can offer and be validated independnently. So not really an opinion.

  14. RICHARD WALKER permalink
    April 16, 2020 11:12 am

    I would add that the standard of many BBC radio interviews is appalling, particularly The World at One. Incorrect so called facts, inane questions, asking the same question twice and not asking relevant questions. Occasionally the interviewee will respond with a put down, but all in all, a complete lack of competence.

  15. saparonia permalink
    April 16, 2020 11:33 am

    I don’t understand why anyone in their right mind can still be addicted to TV. Throwing ours out was a very positive move. I piled all three in a corner and nobody said anything so I took them to the dump.
    A man with a van told me he had a TV detector van parked down the road, but refused to prove it by letting me look inside. He wanted to look inside my house but wouldn’t let me look inside his van! Sent him packing.
    The BBC man “statistics collector” who later came skulking round my house asking if I listen to BBC radio if I don’t watch TV was an indication of how badly we are required to be indoctrinated with their crap. Sent him packing too.
    At least I get a choice now.

  16. Pancho Plail permalink
    April 16, 2020 11:51 am

    Everyone I talk to (from an appropriate distance) has given up watching the news. We listen to the Classic FM bulletins and that is about it. All other news I take filtered through Guido Fawkes comment threads.

  17. MrGrimNasty permalink
    April 16, 2020 12:03 pm

    Manifestly, in some dark (chat)room,the eco-loons/global socialists/psychopaths, whatever you want to think of them, have and are strategically planning how to exploit the virus.

    One such example is trying to convince people that the shutdown proved how dirty and polluting their cars are, and hence change public opinion and accelerate the adoption of unwanted expensive and less practical electric cars.

    This is why the media has been flooded with ‘hallelujah the air is cleansed’ type articles that simply do not hold up to scrutiny.

    If media like the BBC was doing its job they would not just credulously publish the press releases, they would question them, check and recheck the evidence, and expose the story as false or far more complex than stated with many more important factors at play – like the weather!

    But we live in a world where the Daily Mail now publishes on average at least one, often several reports, of advocacy modeled ‘air pollution causes’ stories each day.

    Yes lots of people distrust the MSM, and this sort of thing offends the nose of many and turns them further away, but the vast majority still uncritically absorb whatever last/most vociferous opinion they heard. The sad truth is that burying dissenting voices, and co-opting and subverting the MSM and shamelessly flooding the news with propaganda; it does work, enough to keep edging their agenda ever further forward.

  18. April 16, 2020 12:33 pm

    And on the west side of The Pond, President Trump handed the media their lunch at the White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing. It was a montage of what THEY had said criticizing his early action and then claiming he was too late. It is so satisfying to watch the side-by-sides and hear from grateful Democrat governors getting what they requested.

    The media sitting in the briefing had a meltdown watching themselves be exposed. They rushed out to say that what the President did was “propaganda”. Since he was playing clips of what THEY said…….interesting. RIP, CNN, MSNBC and New York Times.

    The obnoxious blonde reporter with CBS, Paula Reid, took on President Trump and suffered the consequences. Turns out, her husband Jason Kolsevich has business ties with China having worked for the American Chamber of Commerce in China. Currently, he is a director at Water Street Partners. Among their clients are energy companies. I wonder if he knows Hunter Biden whose vast experienceless life is involved with energy in both Ukraine AND China.

    • Robert Jones permalink
      April 16, 2020 4:18 pm

      Joan, it is interesting that President Trump’s forthright approach to the US mainstream media has caused their reporters to take a more direct and hectoring approach in return. The ‘fake news’ industry has blossomed as a consequence and White House Press Briefings have largely become unseemly arguments, with the US press apparently seeing themselves as ‘guardians of truth’ rather than honest conduits of fact.

      The greater sadness is that the UK press appears to be jumping on the same bandwagon and trying to undermine the UK Government by posing hostile questions and writing negative copy. Free speech will be the real casualty.

      • April 17, 2020 12:19 pm

        The vast majority of today’s press would not recognize the truth if they flat on top of it.

    • Broadlands permalink
      April 16, 2020 8:06 pm

      “…It was a montage of what THEY had said criticizing his early action and then claiming he was too late.”

      Too late? Because of what the CDC had said… It’s just the flu!


    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      April 17, 2020 10:14 am

      The BBC always takes a negative sneering stance on anything Trump says or does. But Ch4 evening news a couple of days ago was more like a Trump smear piece than news.

    • April 17, 2020 12:15 pm

      The interesting thing is that with people at home and watching these extensive daily briefings, the country is getting a snoot-full of the media. They are seeing more than just the sliced and diced snippets the media is so adept at dealing out. When Trump calmly, but forcefully makes a statement with which they disagree (anything he says) they rush out to tell their followers that he was “ranting”. Acosta tried this with Trump’s showing of that montage, but it is not playing well as people actually are watching these briefings.

      When President Trump puts these little yapping ankle-biters in their place we are cheering. In doing so, he is standing up for us and we know it. We appreciate that, finally, we have a President who stands up for “we the people” and not just the self-styled elites.

  19. Coeur de Lion permalink
    April 16, 2020 4:33 pm

    On the very narrow field of the BBC and ‘climate change’ the performance is atrocious what with polar bear extinctions, Arctic ice disappearance, falling walruses, rising sea levels et al. The pandemic has scotched most of it but the occasional scare still peeps through and there’s a line that the pandemic IS SO GOOD FOR THE CLIMATE! No treatment of the real alarmist upcoming disaster that forced Thunbergist deindustrialisation does not reduce atmospheric CO 2.!

  20. April 16, 2020 7:25 pm

    I am sorry, got carried away with my non existent rhetoric and forgot the link to a scientist who could communicate, about how to create theories that offer an easy job for life at the tax payers expense writing papers that support a vague theory, as experts on what he also called a pseudo science, that you can’t prove so doesn’t really matter ini the real world because you can’t affect it without probale cause and effect. So much of corrupted academia now consists of pseudo science specialities writing such pointless and irreproducible papers, taking our money to produce “expert advice” to government on how to legalise another easy money fraud to save us from a non problem on the science facts. The 21st Century pseudo science racket.

    All exploiting the simple principle that “You Cannot Prove a Vague Theory Wrong”. Enjoy…..

    • Drew permalink
      April 17, 2020 12:49 pm

      Brianrlcatt, I hope you do not mind if I plagiarise your post. Not just because of the link to Feynman, but because I have been seeing Eisenhowers “Industrial Complexes” everywhere; all exploiting the same vagueness in ideas and all reliant on duping the gatekeepers of the public purse.

  21. April 16, 2020 10:37 pm

    Everyone I know thinks these journalists and TV people are a bunch of tosspots. You can imagine them all getting together afterwards and going for bragging rights for who made an official squirm the most. They just seem to exist in their own little bubble. The other day ITV local news and the BBC just seemed to be wheeling out people, mainly anonymously, to criticise the government and to say how bad things were. It is totally irresponsible broadcasting, there are a lot of very scared people out there who will be getting damaged by what these disgusting excuses for journalists are doing..

  22. Gamecock permalink
    April 18, 2020 2:02 pm

    Polling bias. Had they surveyed journalists, they would know the media is doing GREAT!

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