Beijing and Guangdong province finished at the bottom of a ranking of Chinese regions' media image, according to a report by the Crisis Management Center at Renmin University of China.
The report, which was published on Wednesday, was based on more than 2,000 media reports from last year that covered 30 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.
The "image rankings" are based on five indicators: public security, social order, public services, the environment and the image of local officials. Tang Jun, director of the centre and author of the report, said the results are understandable because last year "the media focused more on big cities, so negative reports on Beijing and Guangzhou were witnessed more frequently".
Guangdong province had the worst performance in all of the indicators except for public service - Beijing ranked last in that indicator because of its poor traffic conditions, high housing prices and the difficulties of maintaining legal rights.
"Moreover, it is more challenging for big cities to provide better and detailed personalized services for its much bigger populations," he said. "But it could push these large cities toward improvements in the future."
Tang said in 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions, public security rated the highest in 2013 while the environment received mostly unsatisfactory ratings.
Corruption and dereliction of duty were the two biggest reasons for hatred of government officials in China, according to the report.
Major damage to an official's image was based on five factors: sex scandals, corruption, dereliction of duty, falsification and the spreading of rumours as well as violence, including during law enforcement.
The report surveyed more than 1,400 people nationwide for their opinions on the public perception of officials. More than 30 per cent said they thought officials were corrupt and a quarter of them said officials often committed derelictions of duty. Seventeen per cent of the respondents said sex scandals marred the image of officials.
The report shows that among all officials exposed for violations last year, 78 per cent were responsible for their offences, while violations by the other 22 per cent were mainly the result of uncontrollable reasons such as natural disasters.
"There is an increasing number of incidents that damage officials' image and the severity of such problems has been growing," said Rao Wenwen, a researcher from the centre.
She also noted that officials violating laws are in the minority among the total number of officials in the nation and that the central government has been more determined to investigate and punish officials.