The CVVM public opinion polls focus, among other themes, on media. We chose three areas of questions from their continuous research – 1) level of trust in media, television, newspaper and radios, 2) opinions on accuracy and inaccuracy of information provided by specific media, 3) choice of news programmes, frequency of watching news and respondents’ assessment of the news programmes that they follow.
For media as social institutions that attempt to act as an authority in the public life, credibility is the key indicator of this authority. The CVVM (previously IVVM) had surveyed the media from February 1995 to March 2003. In October 2002 we started to survey trust in television and newspapers separately and in June 2005 we included also radio stations. Two substantial divergences were recorded in the development of trust in media (see Diagram 1). The initial high figure of 72 % of those who trusted media in February 1995 decreased to 63 % by February 1996. In the following period, the trust in media remained (with minor divergences) around the level of 66 %. Another significant decrease occurred in a short period from October 2001 to February 2002. The number of those, who trusted media, decreased again from a high figure of 71 % by fourteen percentage points to a “historical” minimum of 56 %. Presently, we can hardly find out the cause of those slumps. The second loss of trust in media might have been caused by the dispute concerning Nova TV that resulted in arbitration between the Dutch CME company and the Czech Republic. The verdict that the Czech Republic was responsible for the financial losses of the CME company was delivered in September 2001, immediately before the decrease of the trust in media.