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Phone Hacking: Row 'Harms Trust In Media'

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The phone-hacking scandal has "corroded" trust in the media and only 38% of people believe what they read in newspapers, a study has revealed.

According to its findings, the controversy has had a dramatic impact on confidence in the British press with 58% of people claiming their faith in papers has been reduced since the first allegations emerged.

More than half (51%) of those polled said the furore had dented their trust in the media as a whole.

The findings come as the industry is brought under the spotlight at the start of Lord Justice Leveson's public inquiry into journalistic ethics.

According to the study, the most trusted media outlets are television (deemed reliable by 64% of respondents) and radio (58%).

Its results suggest people are likely to turn increasingly to the small screen or the web for accurate media content - nearly one in five (17%) of British adults claim they will refer to newspapers less frequently next year than they do now.

At the other end of the scale, just 25% of people believe what they read in magazines and less than one in 10 (9%) feel blogs will provide factually correct information.

An analysis of the figures, compiled by YouGov, revealed three in four people (74%) feel outlets sometimes, or frequently, lie to their audiences, while more than half (55%) believe content in the UK had been dumbed down in recent years.

The study also showed that Britons take a cynical view of the American media. Some 21% of adults said they never trust US journalism, regardless of the type of story being covered. However, Americans appear more convinced by the British media, with only 7% saying they never believe the information disseminated.

The study, of 1,108 British and 1,095 US adults, was commissioned by the Public Broadcasting Service channel for its UK Trust Report.

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