Trust in politicians remains low, tells us this year’s Veracity Index, published here today.
Not surprising. The irksome thing about the table, to me, is how lowly journalists are rated at 26%, which puts us below estate agents, bankers, pollsters and the police.
Below bankers? Christ.
I know journalism has had scandals, but I can’t see that they are worse, or even anything like as bad, as those that have affected the police, the charity sector and the church. We certainly don’t have as much to say sorry for as bankers.
I think people rate journalists lowly for trustworthiness because it seems knowing. It suggests sophistication on their part.
It’s actually much harder, I think, for journalists to make stuff up and get away with it than almost any other trade.
For a start all of our colleagues are professional nosey people with degrees in scepticism.
And powerful corporations are loaded with PR folk looking for any inaccuracy they can punish, especially if they already don’t like the tone of our coverage.
We learn that the Ordinary Person in the Street, whoever that is, has a 62% veracity score.
So when I’m just walking down the road, 62% of people trust me to tell the truth. Once they find I’m a journalist, that level of trust suddenly plummets.
I’d say that hacks need some good PR. On the other hand, PR people don’t even merit a score.
In the meantime, me and my folk are less trustworthy than bankers? Get stuffed.