Media around the world face declining public trust, new report says

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Public confidence in news in the UK, US, Brazil and India has apparently declined, according to a new Reuters Institute report released on September 9.

The study, conducted over three years and examining data collected in the four countries, found that while there is still a lot of mistrust of the media, the larger picture is more nuanced.

Dr Benjamin Toff, a senior researcher at the Reuters Institute, told Euronews that “most people selectively trust some news agencies, but not others. And they should.”

“What we focus on in our report are the means by which people decide which sources to trust and not, the large segment of people in every country that we call the ‘generally suspicious’ who don’t trust to most or even one of the 15 different news agencies we asked about, ”Toff said.

But the Reuters Institute researcher added that suspicious groups aren’t necessarily the most vocal critics in the news.

“Instead, they are much less interested and engaged in current affairs as well as in politics in general. They have less experience in direct conversation with or knowing journalists, and they are less interested in engaging. in the editorial practices surrounding the way news is made, ”he said. Noted.

One of the main findings of the report found that while media transparency about how sources are selected or how news organizations make money is important to most people, “generally suspicious Will pay less attention when deciding which sources to trust.

The report also noted a high degree of distrust of information on social media platforms and messaging apps.

“In the UK, the percentage of people trusting information on Facebook or WhatsApp was about the same as the percentage who said they trusted information from The Sun, which doesn’t exactly have a high reputation for marketing. ‘correctness of the facts,’ Toff added. .

“What’s interesting though is that most of these trust gaps are caused by people not using platforms for news. These platforms probably impact trust in more subtle ways, because we also know that people have trouble remembering news sources. they click on them. “

The Institute hopes to work with news organizations in the future to test possible interventions around building trust.

Watch the full interview with Euronews presenter Alasdair Sandford in the player above.


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