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BBC Survey on Trust Issues PDF Print E-mail
Written by Ipsos MORI   
19 Feb 2008

22 January 2008

The survey was intended to enhance our understanding of the public's beliefs and attitudes on a variety of subjects; in particular the trust they place in various organisations.

The speech The Trouble With Trust: Building Confidence In Institutions given by Mark Thompson, BBC Director-General at QEII Centre, London, on Tuesday 15 January 2008 featured data from this survey.

Topline Results

  • Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 1,070 adults aged 16+ in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • Interviews were carried out on the telephone between the 3rd and 6th January, 2008.
  • Quotas were set to reflect the profile of the UK population.
  • The data are weighted to the national socio-demographic profile.
  • The figures quoted are percentages based on 1,070, unless stated otherwise.
  • Where figures do not sum to 100 per cent, this may be due to computer rounding the decimal places up or down, to multiple responses or to the exclusion of "Don't know / Not stated" responses.
  • An asterisk (*) denotes a figure of greater than zero but less than 0.5%.





Q1 On balance do you believe …

1) Princess Diana's death was the result of …
   a) a conspiracy24
   b) an accident64
   Neither / don't know12
2) We are pulling our troops out of Basra, Iraq either because …
   a) there is little chance of our being successful in restoring peace to the area69
   b) we have successfully completed our mission there18
   Both / Neither / Don't know13
3) Climate change and global warming is …
   a) a natural phenomenon that happens from time to time42
   b) is the result of recent human and animal activity47
   Both / Neither / Don't know11
4) That the people behind the 9 / 11 tragedy were …
   a) American radicals6
   b) Foreign terrorists85
   Neither / Don't know9
5) That …
   a) evidence of UFO landings are being hidden from the public30
   b) that there have not been any UFO landings61
   Neither / Don't know8

Q2 For each of the following, please tell me which of these you believe in — or do not believe in?

 % believing in
Life after Death50
Witches and Wizards16

Q3-14 I am going to read out some statements and would like you to tell me whether, on balance, you agree or disagree with each. Firstly …

I'm worried about global warming69301
I tend to believe what my friends tell me35632
I think most people can be trusted54451
Most TV competitions involving voting are fixed62325
Britain accepts too many asylum seekers75223
I tend to believe what I see & hear on the TV & Radio33652
There should be the death penalty for certain kinds of murder66322
When journalists and interviewers challenge politicians and officials with tough questions they are more likely to get at the truth44551
I am more likely to trust / believe those politicians who concentrate more on explaining their own policies than those who concentrate more on attacking other politician's policies79174
I use energy efficient light bulbs in my home78211
In general, I tend to trust politicians16831

Q14a Why do you not trust politicians?

"Lie / mislead / don't tell the truth"31
"Don't keep their promises / don't do what they say they will do"22
"Work for themselves / their own ends"17
"Say what they want people to hear (to get votes)"12
"Evasive / don't give straight answers / two-faced"10
"Have their own agenda"7
"Line their own pockets / corrupt"6
"Only interested in power / own egos / conceited"5
"Don't represent their constituents' views"5

Q15 I am going to read out a list of 7 organisations, and would like you to tell me which you trust the most? Which do you trust the next most?

 MostNext most Most / Next most
The BBC272350
The NHS272047
The Church of England181836
The Military141529
The Media in general41014
The Government4610
Big British Companies369

Q16 Which you trust the least? Which do you trust the next least?

 Least Next least Least / next least
The Government461965
The Media in general251944
Big British Companies122335
The NHS41115
The Church of England51015
The Military51116
The BBC257

Q17 In general, whose interests do you think MPs put first … those of …

Their own55
Their Party's34
Their constituents'6
The Country's4
Don't know1

Q18 Which of the following would you trust the government's advice on?

The effects of smoking77
The dangers of speeding76
The effects of alcohol or drugs72
Protecting the environment52
Your or your child's diet42
The impact of immigration on the UK26

Q19 Which of the following did you vote in?

Last General Election68
Last Series of X Factor10
Last Series of Strictly Come Dancing9

Q20 Thinking of what influences and affects society and people's day to day lives in Britain today, which one of the following, if any, do you think has the most powerful influence? Which has the least powerful influence?

TV and radio broadcasters345
The Government1014
Big companies715
Public officials or civil servants336

Q21 'To what extent do you trust … (regular station / channel) … to tell the truth? On balance do you trust it a great deal, trust it somewhat, a little or not trust it?

Trust a great deal / somewhat%
Radio 495
Other BBC radio87
BBC Two85
Other BBC TV84
BBC One83
Local commercial / non BBC radio77
Channel 474
National commercial / non BBC radio64

Q22 'To what extent do you trust … (paper read in past week or two) … to tell the truth? On balance do you trust it a great deal, trust it somewhat, a little or not trust it?

Trust a great deal / somewhat%
Daily + Sunday
News of the World31

Sample base too small for other newspapers

Q23 Which political party do you tend to support?

Liberal Democrats (Lib Dem)9
Scottish or Welsh Nationalists / Plaid Cymru1
Green Party2
UK Independence Party / UKIP1
None / undecided25

Q24 Do you regularly access any websites on the internet for information?

Last Updated ( 14 Jul 2008 )
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