While polls have frequently been conducted on the attitude of the community towards trade unions, there have rarely been any detailed discussions of the results gathered. In addition, and more importantly, there have been few attempts to examine the range of factors which may have influenced the opinions and attitudes expressed. This paper discusses two potential sources of influence on the formation of attitudes towards unions; it examines a range of polls conducted in Great Britain, the United States of America and Australia on attitudes towards unions; and reports on a relevant small scale survey carried out in Melbourne in 1977. The aim of the paper is to identify an area where very little research has been done, and where it is clearly needed. It inquires into the potential influence of socio-economic background and the media on the formation of attitudes towards trade unions. The role of the media, as the primary dispenser of news and information about trade union affairs and activities, is discussed in some detail.