Trust in the news grew up since Coronavirus emerged
“Trust in the news has grown, on average, by six percentage points in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic – with 44% of our total sample saying they trust most news most of the time”, as Ukrinform reported referring to the latest “Digital News Report” from the Reuters Institute.
These figures reverse the previous trend and bring levels back to those of 2018.
Finland remains the country with the highest level of overall confidence (65%), while the USA now has the lowest levels (29%).
Also a number of countries, especially those with strong and independent public service media, a greater consumption of trusted news brands was seen. The pattern is less clear outside Western Europe, in countries where the Coronavirus crisis has dominated the media agenda less, or where other political and social issues have played a bigger role.
In some countries, the television news has continued to be highly consumed, but print newspapers had some sharp decline almost everywhere, as lockdowns impacted printed press distribution, accelerating the shift towards mostly digital future.
The use of social media for news remains strong, especially with younger people and those with lower levels of education. Messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram have become especially popular in the Global South, creating most concern when it comes to spreading misinformation about Coronavirus, as the report reads.
Those who use social media are more likely to say they have been exposed to misinformation about Coronavirus than non-users. Facebook is seen as the main channel for spreading false information almost everywhere but messaging apps like WhatsApp are seen as a bigger problem in parts of the Global South such as Brazil and Indonesia.
More widely, the use of smartphone for news (73%) has grown at its fastest rate for many years.
It will be recalled that the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a research center at Oxford University that monitors media trends. The Reuters Institute is funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, a charitable division of Thomson Reuters.