Public Trusts Media On Oil Spill Over Gov, BP : The Two-Way Public Trusts Media On Oil Spill Over Gov, BP
NPR logo Public Trusts Media On Oil Spill Over Gov, BP

Public Trusts Media On Oil Spill Over Gov, BP

We in the news media are normally held in fairly low repute by the public. At least that's what polls typically tell us.

But when it comes to who the public trusts most to provide accurate information about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, at least we can boast that we're number one, trusted more than BP or the federal government. That's according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

An excerpt from Pew's press release:

Fully 67% say they have a lot (20%) or some trust (47%) in information on the oil leak coming from news organizations. That compares with 51% who have at least some trust in information from the federal government and 39% in information from BP.

Given how poorly the energy giant and the Obama Administration are seen to have performed in the public's eyes, I'm not sure being trusted more than them says a whole lot.

Both the Obama Administration and BP arguably hurt their credibility with their early, low-ball estimates that the broken oil well was gushing just 5,000 barrels a day.

By contrast, NPR science correspondent Richard Harris asked scientists a few weeks ago to examine the then-limited available video released by BP only to have those scientists say the daily flow of oil was far greater, in the tens of thousands of barrels a day.

Which now turns out to be the estimate the government is using.

Small wonder more people say they trust the media more than the government and BP.