What’s Australia’s most trusted institution or sector? Well, the ABC has replaced the High Court as Australia’s most trusted institution, just ahead of the Reserve Bank, according to polling released this week by Essential Research.

More than one in five voters had a lot of trust in the ABC as an institution and 42% had some trust, giving it a 63% trust score. The High Court scored 61%, and the RBA scored 58%.

All three had substantial falls in trust since the same questions were asked in March, but only back to around where they scored in October 2012. However, for the first time the ABC takes top spot.

Charities were the only other institutions that scored over 50% in trust.

Least trusted were political parties, trade unions and television news, none of whom got above a total of 30%, although political parties surged to 22%, easily their highest (or least lowest) ever level of trust. And the sector that scored highest in “no trust at all”? Trade unions, on 37%, just ahead of religious organisations (36%) and political parties (34%).

Not that Crikey can boast — online news media was only trusted by 31% of those polled, similar to business groups, and just behind newspapers (32%).

Make of all that what you will, but it doesn’t appear to be a coincidence that three public, but independent, bodies like the national broadcaster, the highest court in the country and the central bank are all trusted to a degree far beyond what other sectors, including the commercial media, can manage.

Get Crikey for $1 a week.

Lockdowns are over and BBQs are back! At last, we get to talk to people in real life. But conversation topics outside COVID are so thin on the ground.

Join Crikey and we’ll give you something to talk about. Get your first 12 weeks for $12 to get stories, analysis and BBQ stoppers you won’t see anywhere else.

Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
12 weeks for just $12.