Trust in the news on television - The Emerald Research...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Trust in the news on television Barrie Gunter Centre for Mass Communication Research, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK Abstract Purpose – Television has long been cited by viewers as their primary and most trusted source of news, especially in relation to news of national and international affairs. Aims to explore the issue of trust in the television news. Design/methodology/approach – The paper combines narrative and analysis. Questions whether public trust in the BBC was damaged by the Hutton inquiry: would the BBC’s reputation as the nation’s premier news service be tarnished in the longer-term and had public trust in journalism been severely compromised. Findings – Events that followed the transmission of a report about the veracity of the government’s case for going to war carried by a BBC radio news broadcast on 29 May 2003 called into question the Corporation’s competence as a reliable news provider. The story alleged that an informed source had told BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan that the government had exaggerated the immediacy of dangers posed to the west by Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction. The source who was eventually exposed was a Ministry of Defence expert on Iraq, Dr David Kelly, who later killed himself. The Prime Minister ordered a public inquiry into Dr Kelly’s death, led by Lord Hutton, who severely criticised the competence of the BBC’s senior management and the quality of its journalism practices. These conclusions prompted the resignation of the Corporation’s Chairman and Director General. Hutton’s Fndings had wider implications for the future governance of the BBC and invoked far-reaching questions about the trust that the public could place in journalism. The evidence indicates that while the public felt that the BBC had been culpable for failing to launch its own internal inquiry into the Gilligan report, the public perceived this incident as a one-off aberration rather than as being symptomatic of some wider malaise. Indeed, the Hutton inquiry had impacted more upon public trust in the government and led people to question the independence of the Hutton inquiry. Practical implications – While trust in journalists is far from universal, the public differentiate among journalists in terms of the news organisations they work for. Among these, the BBC remains one of the most widely trusted. Originality/value – An exploration of the issue of trust in the television news following the Dr David Kelly/Andrew Gilligan report on “The Today Programme” and subsequent Hutton enquiry. Keywords Information media, Television news, Trust Paper type General review Introduction The news has long been regarded as one of the most important services provided by television. This observation is underpinned by public opinion concerning television (Gunter et al. , 1994; Towler, 2003) and by broadcasting legislation (Gunter, 1997). Yet,
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/21/2011 for the course BUS 10001 taught by Professor All during the Spring '11 term at Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology.

Page1 / 14

Trust in the news on television - The Emerald Research...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online