Public Trust in the News, published this week by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University, saw the public raising significant concerns about the quality of news journalism.
Participants in the study said they felt too many stories were not grounded in fact, using as an example the number of conspiracy-themed stories run by several newspapers relating to Princess Diana's death.
Dr Scott Anthony from The University of Manchester said: 'It's clear from our report that national newspaper and broadcast journalists can be complacent: they feel all they should be doing is simply to expose the public to a story and nothing more.'
The report added that media organisations were increasingly moving resources away from local news gathering to build an online presence.
'This growing physical gap has enabled public ideas, expectations and understanding of national life to drift away from those expressed by the media,' said Dr Anthony.