Public trust in the BBC is growing according to a Guardian/ICM poll published in the Guardian today.
An overwhelming majority, 77%, think the BBC is an institution people should be proud of – up from 68% in an equivalent ICM poll carried out five years ago. Asked if the BBC is trustworthy, 69% now say yes, against 60% in 2004. Only 26% disagree.
Confidence in the BBC has also improved since a Guardian/ICM poll in 2007. Then, a majority, 59%, said their trust in the corporation had fallen in the wake of the much-publicised TV fakery scandals, while only 37% said it was unchanged.
Now attitudes have reversed. A majority, 57% say their trust in the BBC has not faltered while 41% say it has fallen.
A clear majority of viewers and listeners – 58% – said they think there is no difference between news on the BBC and other channels. The poll showed only 16 % think the BBC should ease pressure on commercial rivals by charging for its website, against 79% who do not.
Asked to pick from a range of ways of funding the BBC, including the licence fee, a subscription service and selling advertising, more people back the licence fee than any alternative.
But supporters remain in the minority. The fee is backed by 43%, against 24% who think advertising should foot the bill and 30% who think people should pay to subscribe if they want to see BBC programmes.
But there is also public support for the easing of tight restrictions on what broadcasters can say: 61% agree the BBC and other broadcasters should be free to hold political positions, against 37% who disagree.