The Sun – they buy it but don’t trust it

Two reports in today’s Press Gazette throw fascinating light on the position of The Sun in British journalism.  The National Readership Survey suggests that more than 13 million adults read the paper in print and online every week.  But a separate study found it’s the least trusted source of news.

According to the survey,  more than 35 million people read the content of ‘national’ newspapers in print or online – with The Sun accounting for more than a third of them. 

More than 70 per cent trust the BBC, according to a poll by Populus for the communications consultancy Open Road.  Only nine per cent trust the Sun.

As Lord Leveson considers his recommendations on the future of press regulation, there must be a lesson here about what makes for trustworthy journalism.

The unanswered question is why people who don’t trust it continue to read the Sun’s journalism.  Could it be that they don’t consider it to be journalism at all – but entertainment?

It reminds us of evidence from long ago that even in its Thatcher-loving days, many Sun readers thought it was a Labour-supporting paper.

 James Stewart

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About James Stewart

Senior Lecturer in Radio Journalism.
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