Who would you most trust to tell the truth: journalists, politicians, charity chief executives, or hairdressers?

Ipsos MORI recently carried out a survey on public trust in various professions. It found that public trust had fallen dramatically in some professions.

As you would expect, doctors, teachers, judges and scientists come out as enjoying the greatest public trust.

But fifth in the index is a profession that might surprise you. It was hairdressers. (The bloke who cuts my hair has been assuring me that I am not going thin on top. I am not sure he is telling the truth! Fortunately I am too tall for anyone to tell me otherwise).

At the end of the end of the spectrum, enjoying least confidence that they would tell the truth were politicians generally (21%), slightly below government ministers (22%), themselves below estate agents and journalists (equal on 25%).

Charity chief executives didn’t come out too well although they, at 47%, were trusted to tell the truth slightly more than trade union officials (46%), local councillors (43%), builders (42%), bankers and managers in local government (both on 37%).

Regarding charity chief executives, I wonder whether there would be a difference between those who lead national charities and those who lead local ones. My national counterparts have had a rather rough time of it, not least as a result of the collapse of Kids Company and controversies over six figure salaries.

I know that local charity chief executives work hard, are very focused on the delivery of their mission and maintaining good links with the local communities. I also think the same is true with journalism. The local journalists I have worked with understand the need to develop and maintain relationships with people in their local communities, something national journalists might not care about.

As with any profession, there are good ones and bad ones. I think the most unfair result of this poll relates to politicians, almost all of whom,min my experience, are honourable and hard working. They might get caught up in their own little universe and lose touch with what ordinary people think, but I don’t think that they are dishonest.

Ipsos MORI, truth, charities, politicians, journalists


2 thoughts on “Who would you most trust to tell the truth: journalists, politicians, charity chief executives, or hairdressers?

  1. Unfortunately charities in the USA are suffering from a distinct lack of public trust. It is an uncomfortable and difficult time when everyone is overly cautious with good reason but in the end it is the people who need the charities who suffer.

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