The truth and nothing like the truth

13th February, 2008

According to the BBC Survey on Trust (Ipsos MORI, January 2008) just 29% of the Sun’s own readers, and 31% of the News of the World’s, trust what the papers say. In comparison 94% of the Guardian’s and 93% of the Telegraph’s readers trust their papers.

Now I haven’t read the Sun or the News of the World for some time but from what I recall they tend to include a lot more pictures than one finds in the Guardian or the Telegraph. Along with more bingo competitions, celebrity profiling and bigger writing on the front page.

And I wish to take no cheap shots at the tabloids because they clearly know their place. Genuinely, they do.

In an age where news from around the globe is available on-tap, 24-7, the media have had to evolve with market needs. The same survey (and presumably the main purpose of the exercise) shows that more than 4 in 5 of us trust the ubiquitous medium of BBC television, so we are hardly devoid of good sources of news if we want it.

With a reach of 9 million readers weekly, these particular red tops won’t be bothered that over 6 million of us don’t believe very much we read in them.

Of course, if much less than the 89% of their sister papers’ own readers (Times and Sunday Times) were convinced of what they were reading then that might be a cause for concern. But they don’t expect one size to fit all. News Group Newspapers just happen to be very good at knowing who their customer is, what they want from their product and how to connect with them.

Oh yes, and how to keep them coming back for more.