The UK formally left the EU in January 2020 following an election that gave Tory leader Boris Johnson a mandate to push through his vision of Brexit. Years of political turmoil have also influenced a media environment characterised by a strong public broadcaster (the BBC), a highly competitive national press, and a local media sector that is struggling with digital transition.
TV news reach declined to 55% in January before bouncing back during the coronavirus crisis (see Executive Summary chart). This year’s fall in print is partly due to a change of panel weighting implemented to make our data more accurate – though circulation was adversely affected by the COVID-19 lockdown.
Trust in the news has fallen over 20 percentage points since 2015. Even the most trusted brands like the BBC are seen by many as pushing or suppressing agendas – especially over polarising issues like Brexit. Broadcasters have higher levels of trust than digital-born brands and tabloids, some of which have high levels of distrust.
An earlier version of this chart incorrectly stated that the brand trust figures included all that haven’t heard of each brand in the ‘Neither’ bar. However those that had not heard of the brand were excluded. We apologise for the error.