The Sun is not rising as the BBC takes top spot in rankings of most trusted news brands

Sebastian McCarthy
The public service broadcaster was on average the most trusted news brand
The public service broadcaster was on average the most trusted news brand (Source: Getty)

The BBC is the most trusted news brand in the UK, according to a report released by the Reuters Institute.

Followed by ITV and Channel 4, the public service broadcaster landed the top spot for trustworthiness, with The Sun being the least trusted news outlet.

The research, which was a survey of 74,000 people in 37 markets, also highlighted a growing shift in how people consume their news, as readers move away from social media networks like Facebook towards messaging apps such as Whatsapp.

Facebook usage is down nine percentage points from 2017 in the United States and down 20 points for younger audiences.

As a whole the UK had the second highest proportion of people that used Facebook as a source of news at 27 per cent, behind the US where just nearly 10 use the site to get their news.

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Nic Newman, a research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, commented: "The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of continuous growth."

He added: "At the same time, we continue to see a rise in the use of messaging apps for news as consumers look for more private (and less confrontational) spaces to communicate."

Despite continued setbacks in sales, local newspapers in the UK also ranked relatively high on the scale, gaining a 6.5 out of 10 in terms of trustworthiness.

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The Daily Mail had the widest disparity in trustworthiness between age groups, with people under 35 giving it an average ranking below four out of 10, compared with people over 35 who on average ranked the paper just below five out of 10.

While the BBC scored an average seven out of 10 among people of all ages, the broadcaster has nonetheless faced pressure on both sides of the political spectrum for its news coverage.

Buzzfeed and HuffPost both came lower down on the rankings, roughly scoring a 4.5 and a 5.4 for trust levels respectively. Such results follow a year in which digital news outlets have struggled to maintain profit margins, with many outlets shifting their online revenue model from click-based earnings to subscription paywalls.

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