This paper offers an explanation of European cross country differences in the trust enjoyed by television. Our argument turns on the way that, while there is significant public ownership of television in all countries (so that trust in broadcasting as a whole is bound to depend importantly on trust in public broadcasters), the extent of independence of these public broadcasters from government varies across countries and this affects their trustworthiness. Trust in television matters not only because of the special influence that television plays in the political system but also because there is evidence that trust in institutions directly contributes to individuals' subjective well-being.
- political system
- public service