Fewer Americans Than Europeans Have Trust in the Media - Press, Radio and TV

But More Americans than Europeans Trust Religious Institutions



Jan 13, 2005, 00:00 ET from Harris Interactive

    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Harris Poll measures the
 levels of trust which Americans have in important institutions, and compares
 the results with those in a virtually identical European survey. For many
 institutions the levels of trust, or distrust, on both sides of the Atlantic
 were similar. There were also some striking differences. Americans showed much
 less trust than Europeans in the media and in the United Nations. On the other
 hand, Americans, more than Europeans, trust religious institutions.
     Both Americans and Europeans had relatively high levels of trust in their
 police and military. Both Americans and Europeans had very little trust in
 political parties, their governments, trade unions and big business.
    The American data are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,092
 adults surveyed online between December 8 and 15, 2004. The European data come
 from the Eurobarometer survey of adults in the 25 member countries of the
 European Union surveyed nine months earlier in February and March 2004.
 
     Trust in the media
     American attitudes toward the press, radio and television were much more
 negative than European attitudes. Specifically:
 
      -  A 62 to 22 percent (almost 3-to-1) majority of Americans did not trust
         "the press"; Europeans were split 47 to 46 percent.
 
      -  A modest 43 to 33 percent plurality of Americans were inclined to
         trust the radio; a larger than 2-to-1 majority (62% to 29%) of
         Europeans did so.
 
      -  A substantial 58 to 22 percent majority of Americans did not trust
         television; a 54 to 39 percent majority of Europeans did trust TV.
 
     In the five largest EU countries:
 
      -  Trust in radio was above 55 percent everywhere and highest in Spain
         and France (67%).
 
      -  Trust in the press was highest in Spain (61%) and France (60%) and
         lowest in the U.K. (20%) -- with its own special mass market tabloid
         journalism.
 
      -  Trust in television was highest in Germany (59%) and the U.K. (54%)
         and lowest in Italy (37%) where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns
         several powerful networks.
 
     Trust in the political system
     Majorities in both the United States and Europe did not trust their
 politicians or their governments. A plurality of Europeans trusted the United
 Nations, while a plurality of Americans distrusted the U.N. Specifically:
 
      -  Very large majorities of both Americans (77% to 8%) and Europeans (77%
         to 14%) distrusted political parties.
 
      -  Substantial majorities of both Americans (55% to 27%) and Europeans
         (63% to 28%) distrusted their governments.
 
      -  A substantial majority of Americans (56% to 22%) distrusted the
         Congress. A substantial majority of Europeans (57% to 32%) distrusted
         their parliaments or elected chambers.
 
      -  A 44 to 30 percent plurality of Americans tended not to trust the
         United Nations. In contrast, in Europe, a 49 to 34 percent plurality
         were inclined to trust the U.N.
 
     Trust in other institutions
     Large majorities of between 3-to-1 and 2-to-1 trusted the police and the
 military in both the United States and in Europe. Large majorities also
 trusted charitable and voluntary organizations.
     On the other hand, very large majorities in both the U.S. (70% to 12%) and
 in Europe (60% to 26%) distrusted big companies. Adults also tended not to
 trust trade unions in both the U.S. (51% to 19%) and Europe (50% to 34%).
     When it comes to justice and legal systems, Europeans were split with 45
 percent trusting their systems and 47 percent distrusting them. In the U.S. a
 47 to 36 percent plurality did not trust the legal system.
 
                                    TABLE 1
                               TRUST IN THE MEDIA
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
     Base: All Adults
 
                           EU (25
                   U.S.   Countries)  Germany   Spain   France   Italy     U.K.
 
                  %    %    %    %     %   %    %   %   %    %   %   %    %   %
                  +    -    +    -     +   -    +   -   +    -   +   -    +   -
     The press   22   62   47   46    44  49   61  34  60   36  44  47   20  73
     Radio       43   33   62   29    63  29   67  28  67   28  55  31   59  29
     Television  22   58   54   39    59  34   52  44  48   48  37  54   54  37
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
 
                                    TABLE 2
              TRUST IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM AND THE UNITED NATIONS
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                            EU (25
                     U.S.  Countries)  Germany  Spain   France   Italy   U.K.
 
                    %   %    %    %    %    %   %   %   %   %    %   %   %   %
                    +   -    +    -    +    -   +   -   +   -    +   -   +   -
     Political
      parties       8  77   14   77   11   81  27  65  13  79   13  78  10  78
     The
      (nationality)
      government   27  55   28   63   23   68  42  52  29  63   26  63  19  69
     The
      Congress/
      (nationality)
      Parliament   22  56   32   57   29   60  42  49  35  53   32  53  25  61
     The United
      Nations      30  44   49   34   44   37  56  33  43  41   51  32  45  33
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
 
                                    TABLE 3
                          TRUST IN OTHER INSTITUTIONS
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                              EU (25
                    U.S.    Countries)  Germany  Spain   France   Italy   U.K.
 
                    %    %    %    %    %    %   %   %   %   %    %   %   %   %
                    +    -    +    -    +    -   +   -   +   -    +   -   +   -
     Justice/
      the
      (nationality)
      legal
      system        36  47   45   47   56   36  47  48  42  53   46  44  37  50
     The
      police        66  22   61   33   75   20  59  37  55  41   71  22  55  35
     The
      military/
      army          63  23   63   26   61   25  55  38  58  33   73  18  67  20
     The
      religious
      institutions  48  34   42   45   37   46  35  58  33  52   55  33  37  45
     Trade
      unions        19  51   34   50   28   58  37  53  34  53   35  52  34  42
     Big
      companies     12  70   26   60   21   66  36  54  29  61   24  61  20  65
     Charitable
      or
      voluntary
      organ-
      izations      60  23   59   28   51   32  65  26  68  24   61  26  65  22
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
     Methodology
     The Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between
 December 8 and 15, 2004 among a nationwide cross section of 2,092 adults (aged
 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household
 income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual
 proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to
 adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
     In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95
 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3
 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population
 had been polled with complete accuracy. Unfortunately, there are several other
 possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more
 serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals
 to be interviewed (non-response), question wording and question order,
 weighting by demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters).
 It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors.
 This online sample is not a probability sample.
     The European data come from the Eurobarometer 61 survey conducted for the
 European Commission in person (face-to-face) in February and March 2004 with
 1,000 or more in each country.
 
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
     J22759
     Q815
 
     About Harris Interactive(R)
     Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th
 largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester,
 N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting
 with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and
 application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based
 research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research
 to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
     Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and
 technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned
 subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (http://www.hieurope.com), Paris-based
 Novatris (http://www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan,
 through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide (http://www.wirthlinworldwide.com), a
 Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in
 the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market
 research companies. EOE M/F/D/V.
     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online(SM) and be invited to
 participate in future online surveys, visit http://www.harrispollonline.com.
 
      Press Contacts:
      Nancy Wong
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7316
 
      Kelly Gullo
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7172
 
 

SOURCE Harris Interactive
    ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Harris Poll measures the
 levels of trust which Americans have in important institutions, and compares
 the results with those in a virtually identical European survey. For many
 institutions the levels of trust, or distrust, on both sides of the Atlantic
 were similar. There were also some striking differences. Americans showed much
 less trust than Europeans in the media and in the United Nations. On the other
 hand, Americans, more than Europeans, trust religious institutions.
     Both Americans and Europeans had relatively high levels of trust in their
 police and military. Both Americans and Europeans had very little trust in
 political parties, their governments, trade unions and big business.
    The American data are the results of a nationwide Harris Poll of 2,092
 adults surveyed online between December 8 and 15, 2004. The European data come
 from the Eurobarometer survey of adults in the 25 member countries of the
 European Union surveyed nine months earlier in February and March 2004.
 
     Trust in the media
     American attitudes toward the press, radio and television were much more
 negative than European attitudes. Specifically:
 
      -  A 62 to 22 percent (almost 3-to-1) majority of Americans did not trust
         "the press"; Europeans were split 47 to 46 percent.
 
      -  A modest 43 to 33 percent plurality of Americans were inclined to
         trust the radio; a larger than 2-to-1 majority (62% to 29%) of
         Europeans did so.
 
      -  A substantial 58 to 22 percent majority of Americans did not trust
         television; a 54 to 39 percent majority of Europeans did trust TV.
 
     In the five largest EU countries:
 
      -  Trust in radio was above 55 percent everywhere and highest in Spain
         and France (67%).
 
      -  Trust in the press was highest in Spain (61%) and France (60%) and
         lowest in the U.K. (20%) -- with its own special mass market tabloid
         journalism.
 
      -  Trust in television was highest in Germany (59%) and the U.K. (54%)
         and lowest in Italy (37%) where Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi owns
         several powerful networks.
 
     Trust in the political system
     Majorities in both the United States and Europe did not trust their
 politicians or their governments. A plurality of Europeans trusted the United
 Nations, while a plurality of Americans distrusted the U.N. Specifically:
 
      -  Very large majorities of both Americans (77% to 8%) and Europeans (77%
         to 14%) distrusted political parties.
 
      -  Substantial majorities of both Americans (55% to 27%) and Europeans
         (63% to 28%) distrusted their governments.
 
      -  A substantial majority of Americans (56% to 22%) distrusted the
         Congress. A substantial majority of Europeans (57% to 32%) distrusted
         their parliaments or elected chambers.
 
      -  A 44 to 30 percent plurality of Americans tended not to trust the
         United Nations. In contrast, in Europe, a 49 to 34 percent plurality
         were inclined to trust the U.N.
 
     Trust in other institutions
     Large majorities of between 3-to-1 and 2-to-1 trusted the police and the
 military in both the United States and in Europe. Large majorities also
 trusted charitable and voluntary organizations.
     On the other hand, very large majorities in both the U.S. (70% to 12%) and
 in Europe (60% to 26%) distrusted big companies. Adults also tended not to
 trust trade unions in both the U.S. (51% to 19%) and Europe (50% to 34%).
     When it comes to justice and legal systems, Europeans were split with 45
 percent trusting their systems and 47 percent distrusting them. In the U.S. a
 47 to 36 percent plurality did not trust the legal system.
 
                                    TABLE 1
                               TRUST IN THE MEDIA
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
     Base: All Adults
 
                           EU (25
                   U.S.   Countries)  Germany   Spain   France   Italy     U.K.
 
                  %    %    %    %     %   %    %   %   %    %   %   %    %   %
                  +    -    +    -     +   -    +   -   +    -   +   -    +   -
     The press   22   62   47   46    44  49   61  34  60   36  44  47   20  73
     Radio       43   33   62   29    63  29   67  28  67   28  55  31   59  29
     Television  22   58   54   39    59  34   52  44  48   48  37  54   54  37
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
 
                                    TABLE 2
              TRUST IN THE POLITICAL SYSTEM AND THE UNITED NATIONS
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                            EU (25
                     U.S.  Countries)  Germany  Spain   France   Italy   U.K.
 
                    %   %    %    %    %    %   %   %   %   %    %   %   %   %
                    +   -    +    -    +    -   +   -   +   -    +   -   +   -
     Political
      parties       8  77   14   77   11   81  27  65  13  79   13  78  10  78
     The
      (nationality)
      government   27  55   28   63   23   68  42  52  29  63   26  63  19  69
     The
      Congress/
      (nationality)
      Parliament   22  56   32   57   29   60  42  49  35  53   32  53  25  61
     The United
      Nations      30  44   49   34   44   37  56  33  43  41   51  32  45  33
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
 
                                    TABLE 3
                          TRUST IN OTHER INSTITUTIONS
       "I would like to ask you about how much trust you have in certain
  institutions. For each of the following institutions, please tell me if you
                   tend to trust it or tend not to trust it."
 
     Base: All Adults
 
                              EU (25
                    U.S.    Countries)  Germany  Spain   France   Italy   U.K.
 
                    %    %    %    %    %    %   %   %   %   %    %   %   %   %
                    +    -    +    -    +    -   +   -   +   -    +   -   +   -
     Justice/
      the
      (nationality)
      legal
      system        36  47   45   47   56   36  47  48  42  53   46  44  37  50
     The
      police        66  22   61   33   75   20  59  37  55  41   71  22  55  35
     The
      military/
      army          63  23   63   26   61   25  55  38  58  33   73  18  67  20
     The
      religious
      institutions  48  34   42   45   37   46  35  58  33  52   55  33  37  45
     Trade
      unions        19  51   34   50   28   58  37  53  34  53   35  52  34  42
     Big
      companies     12  70   26   60   21   66  36  54  29  61   24  61  20  65
     Charitable
      or
      voluntary
      organ-
      izations      60  23   59   28   51   32  65  26  68  24   61  26  65  22
 
      + Tend to trust
      - Tend not to trust
        Not sures excluded.
 
     Methodology
     The Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between
 December 8 and 15, 2004 among a nationwide cross section of 2,092 adults (aged
 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region and household
 income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual
 proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to
 adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
     In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95
 percent certainty that the results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3
 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population
 had been polled with complete accuracy. Unfortunately, there are several other
 possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more
 serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals
 to be interviewed (non-response), question wording and question order,
 weighting by demographic control data and screening (e.g., for likely voters).
 It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors.
 This online sample is not a probability sample.
     The European data come from the Eurobarometer 61 survey conducted for the
 European Commission in person (face-to-face) in February and March 2004 with
 1,000 or more in each country.
 
     These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National
 Council on Public Polls.
 
     J22759
     Q815
 
     About Harris Interactive(R)
     Harris Interactive Inc. (http://www.harrisinteractive.com), the 15th
 largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world, is a Rochester,
 N.Y.-based global research company that blends premier strategic consulting
 with innovative and efficient methods of investigation, analysis and
 application. Known for The Harris Poll(R) and for pioneering Internet-based
 research methods, Harris Interactive conducts proprietary and public research
 to help its clients achieve clear, material and enduring results.
     Harris Interactive combines its intellectual capital, databases and
 technology to advance market leadership through U.S. offices and wholly owned
 subsidiaries: London-based HI Europe (http://www.hieurope.com), Paris-based
 Novatris (http://www.novatris.com), Tokyo-based Harris Interactive Japan,
 through newly acquired WirthlinWorldwide (http://www.wirthlinworldwide.com), a
 Reston, Virginia-based research and consultancy firm ranked 25th largest in
 the world, and through an independent global network of affiliate market
 research companies. EOE M/F/D/V.
     To become a member of the Harris Poll Online(SM) and be invited to
 participate in future online surveys, visit http://www.harrispollonline.com.
 
      Press Contacts:
      Nancy Wong
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7316
 
      Kelly Gullo
      Harris Interactive
      585-214-7172
 
 SOURCE  Harris Interactive