Public Trust in the News

A Constructivist Study of the Social Life of the News


Stephen Coleman, Scott Anthony, David E. Morrison


The issue of trust in our institutions has never been higher in the public agenda. In this pathbreaking study, the question of how far the news media are trusted has been posed in a unique way—to ordinary people in focus groups. Their response is that they find the news often incomprehensible, and demeaning of their experience. The study carries large implications for journalists, and proposes ways in which this deficit of understanding and acceptance of journalism by much of its audience may be addressed.

This is a tremendous piece of work, enormously helpful and articulate and very eloquently written. It unpacks trust and vividly captures the 'not completeness' of the news and the way people themselves understand this.  The research is fascinating: they display a genuine problem in trust and show there is a dis-connect between personal experience and media stories which has many origins

Professor Jean Seaton, Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster and the Official Historian of the BBC

Stephen Coleman is Professor of Political Communication and Director of Research at the Institute for Communications Studies, University of Leeds.

Scott Anthony is a journalist and teaching fellow at the University of Manchester.

David E. Morrison is Professor of Communications Research at the Institute for Communications Studies, University of Leeds.

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