NS survey should not be taken at face value

If you received a press release from The Jam Association saying jam is twice as popular as marmalade would you carelessly copy and paste it or would you dismiss it as propaganda?
Hopefully, churnalism aside, the answer would be the latter.
So how come so many press sites – Press Gazette, HoldtheFrontPage and Jon Slattery for example – have simply regurgitated the results of a Newspaper Society survey saying independent media is more trustworthy than councils?
NS President David Fordham, chief executive of Iliffe News & Media, and his team have the avowed aim of championing the needs of local and regional newspapers.
So is it really a wise move to accept at face value the results of a survey which suggest 63 per cent of people believe independent media is more trustworthy than local councils.
The survey, conducted by TNS-RI Omnibus, only took in 1,000 correspondents – a very small sample – and was carried out as part of Local Newspaper Week.
It is part of a long-standing NS campaign to champion local press and belittle council publications.
A cynic might say the ultimate aim of Fordham and his fellow media bosses is to rid themselves of a competitor and increase the revenues of their own publications.
Would they have so prominently published the results of this survey if the correspondents had favoured council newspapers?
At this point The Blog would like to point out that our own personal view is that local papers are far more trustworthy than Pravda style council productions, but that does not mean we should all hang on the results of a survey that took in such a low proportion of the population and was produced by an organisation with an invested interest in the result.

State of Play: All that glitters is not gold



Filed under Journalism

2 responses to “NS survey should not be taken at face value

  1. Regurgated? I don’t think so…

    NS release intro: “Eighty-five per cent of local newspaper readers in Britain say it is important that their local paper keeps them informed about local council issues, a national study by TNS-RI Omnibus has revealed.”

    My intro: “Regional TV news (40 per cent) and local newspapers (36 per cent) are the top two sources of information trusted to provide unbiased information about the local council or other local public bodies, according to a poll commissioned by the Newspaper Society to mark the start of Local Newspaper Week.”

    This actually comes from the ninth par of the NS release. It struck me as interesting that regional tv
    did so well – better than the local press – in a survey commission by, er, the local press.


    Jon S.

  2. Pingback: Jon Slattery: an apology « The Blog

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