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Sep 5, 2011


We trust Laurie Oakes and George Negus to bring us the news. But not Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.

And the news is worse for Bolt, the nation’s pre-eminent conservative crusader, with more than half of respondents to an Essential Research survey not knowing who he is.

Essential put a number of journalists and commentators to its weekly online panel to ask who they most trusted. The results perhaps aren’t surprising, and skewed with state-based stars, but show among the trustworthy and reviled that some of the nation’s hot-headed megaphones aren’t as famous as they might think.

Negus, the former 60 Minutes globetrotter turned host of Channel Ten’s struggling 6.30 bulletin, shared the most-trusted title with Nine’s veteran political reporter. Both scored 75% in the trust stakes, though Oakes polled slightly higher (33%) than Negus (27%) in the “a lot of trust” column.

Radio rabble-rouser and chief government critic Jones was the most disliked, with almost half saying they had little or no trust in the 2GB breakfast host. A third said they had no trust in him as a commentator whatsoever.

A trio of Victorian-based commentators had their figures dragged down by a lack of recognition. ABC Radio’s Jon Faine and 3AW morning rival Neil Mitchell both scored 40% in having “no trust” or “not much trust”, while The Age‘s political editor Michelle Grattan came in at 34%. Less than half of respondents to the survey could name the three, with Faine the least recognised at just 33%.

Bolt’s national TV profile — after quitting the ABC’s Insiders he now hosts a Sunday morning platform on Channel Ten — hasn’t done much to boost his fame: almost half (48%) said they didn’t know who he was.

Despite Tony Jones’ lower recognition factor, the ABC Q&A and Lateline host was third behind Oakes and Negus as the journalist or commentator most trusted. Grattan was fourth.


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