• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 8:38am
NewsHong Kong

Post tops survey on newspaper credibility as trust in Hong Kong media sinks to all-time low

Chinese University study showing decline in trust for newspapers and broadcasters prompts journalists' chief to hit out at self-censorship

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 January, 2014, 5:54pm
UPDATED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 2:39pm


  • Newspaper: 32%
  • TV: 11%
  • Radio: 3%
  • Internet/ Social media: 50%
  • Other (please comment): 5%
3 Jan 2014
  • Newspaper
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Internet/ Social media
  • Other (please comment)
Total number of votes recorded: 400

The South China Morning Post remains Hong Kong's most trusted newspaper, according to a survey on media credibility by Chinese University.

The city's leading English-language daily scored 6.98 on a scale of one to 10 in the survey, which has been conducted six times since 1997 by the university's school of journalism and communication. The Post has been the best-rated print media in five of the six studies.

The overall crown went to RTHK, which received an average score of 6.99. The public broadcaster has retained top spot among broadcasters since the survey was first conducted.

The telephone survey of 970 people was conducted in November and early last month. The margin of error was 2.5 to 3 per cent and respondents could refuse to rank media sources with which they were not familiar.

Professor So York-kee, who led the study, said differences in the average beyond the first decimal point meant little.

The result comes after a memorable year in which the Post garnered international attention for a series of scoops, most notably an exclusive interview with US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden, secured by reporter Lana Lam after Snowden fled to Hong Kong.

There was worse news for Ming Pao, which had advertised itself as the city's most credible Chinese-language newspaper after finishing second to the Post in previous surveys. It slipped to third out of the 22 newspapers studied with a score of 6.74, just behind the 6.78 for the Economic Times, and will change its masthead slogan from today.

"The masthead is based on Chinese University's poll and also encapsulates the newspaper's belief and mission, and the goal we strive for every day," the newspaper said in a statement. "We will … continue to remind ourselves to be professional in our reporting."

Overall, trust in the media was at the lowest level ever recorded by the survey, prompting calls for a rethink from the leader of the city's journalists' union. The average credibility rating for all media was 6.18, down from 6.36 in the previous survey in 2010.

"The results ring warning bells [for the industry]," said Sham Yee-lan, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association. "For news media, credibility is life, is everything."

Shum said economic strains and political pressure, especially from Beijing, had led to self-censorship - a problem most apparent at management level.

"To regain public trust, the media industry needs to draw a firm line - not to sensationalise and not to take sides, but to reveal things for the good of society," Shum said.

"It's important to let the public see that we aren't covering up things for the powerful."

Troubled broadcaster ATV ranked bottom among the eight broadcasters and electronic media after falsely reporting the death of former president Jiang Zemin in 2011.

Sharp Daily - a free newspaper owned by Apple Daily boss Jimmy Lai Chee-ying - was the least credible outlet. The survey took place a month after the paper closed.


Electronic Media 

1 RTHK 6.99 points
2 Commercial Radio 6.48
3 Cable News 6.38
4 TVB 6.25
5 Now TV 6.14
6 Metro Radio 5.92
7 HKBN bbTV 5.74
8 ATV 4.74









Print Media

1 South China Morning Post 6.98
2 Hong Kong Economic Times 6.78
3 MingPao 6.74
4 The Standard 6.71
5 Hong Kong Economic Journal 6.46
6 Singtao Daily 6.42
7 Headline Daily 5.87
8 Oriental Daily 5.85
9 Am730 5.82
10 House News 5.76
11 SingPao 5.75
12 Metro Daily 5.71
13 Hong Kong Daily News 5.46
14 Sky Post 5.44
15 Hong Kong Commercial Daily 5.21
16 The Sun (Hong Kong) 5.15
17 Apple Daily 4.98
18 New Evening Post 4.94
19 Wen Wei Po 4.89
20 Ta Kung Pao 4.68
21 Sharp Daily 4.46
22 Tin Tin Daily News* -

*Now-defunct paper was only included until the 2001 survey, but was included in the latest list for comparison.

Source: Chinese University





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This article is now closed to comments

Shouldn't there be an option 'nowhere' for this poll? It is becoming difficult to locate media with an ounce of credibility. Maybe I am being too skeptical.
The whole media industry should be shameful with the result! Why? Can we imagine that over 30% posioning material in our food. The media does not need to agree with anyone but an independent thinking based on multiple source of information to prove the fact before reporting the news is a minimum requirement most media still can't do it. Credibilty is the Only thing media industry provide! Otherwises, why people have to read the news instead of creative novel! It is a very sad development in Hong Kong that media is used to achieve political and commercial purposes and losing the conscience and independent thinking and professionalism. This also hurt democratic development in HK as democracy work based on the beauty of shared power and it can only be function if media industry can have credibility in their reporting.
We are living in an age of contradictions. The more we are educated, the less we are susceptible to we read and hear is true. The more there is flow of information, the less a chance the information is true but false. Just take a look at the dislike one reader assigned to my comment above. One wonders if that reader is telling me that I am wrong to ask questions. In my judgment such is a response like many other dislikes are thoughtless in appearance but falsehood in substance. It is this kind of false information we should be beware of. It is a abuse in freedom of speech really as well as the betrayal of one’s own intellect. Why be educated really?
Maybe installing a CCP party secretary in every outlet's editorial office will improve things?
Congratulation Mr. Lai, your paper still has a higher score than Wen Wei Po.
The poor credibility of HK media are poisoning us in particular our younger generations. The damage by media which are well known to be working for a certain parties is low because people just would not subscribe to them. But, those media which camouflage itself and pretend to be upright in many ways, always playing themselves as democracy defenders, freedom fighters and good social citizens etc., are the most evil and causing most damage to the people of HK.
The poll means nothing and doesn't have credibility in itself.
South China Morning Post is one of the worst in credibility. Just look at the circulation of the South China Morning Post, people would figure out the level of its credibility, along with Apple Daily and the RTHK, they are all bad apples of the industry.
I never listened to the RTHK when I was a kid. I only knew that it belonged to or subsidized by the government. Recently I have listened to it once, WOW ! RTHK is nothing but a pathetic and shameless tool of foreign governments who try to stop the peaceful rise of China.
I hate all these professional LIARS. They, as human beings, have already lost their conscience, moral, integrity and professionalism.
We must constant make judgment what we learn from media which being readily available to us. Ask question of what you read and see. Don’t stop at the first question. Find question within question until you can’t go no further. There, you may find some truth that only limit by your ability to go any further. Question within a question is a Jewish Kabala teaching. Hiding from the truth is a bit harder.
I wonder if public confidence is increasing in any of HK's institutions these days. It's hard to escape the feeling that this place is circling the plughole.


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