Confidence in news has increased amid pandemic, but below average in India: Report

In India, television remains the most popular news source overall. (Representative)

New Delhi:

According to a survey released on Wednesday, 44 per cent of respondents globally said they mostly trust news, but in India the figure is less than the 38 per cent average.

Finland topped the chart with an overall confidence of 65 percent, while the US is at the bottom with a score of 29 percent. India has been ranked in the lower half in a survey of 46 countries conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford.

In India, older print brands and state broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio are more trustworthy, while print brands, in general, are more trustworthy than TV brands, which are seen as far more polarizing and sensationalist.

In another interesting finding, the study found that personalities – celebrities and influencers – garner the most attention among social media news users across the four big platforms in India – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Internet celebrities were followed by mainstream news outlets/journalists, politicians/political activists, smaller or alternative news sources, and commoners in the top five groups that Indian social media users pay attention to for news.

However, the study indicated that its data is based on a survey of predominantly English-speaking online news users in India, a small subset of a larger, more diverse, media market in the country.

In Asia-Pacific, India is ranked 8th, while 50 percent of respondents said they believe the news, with Thailand at the top.

The study by the Reuters Institute also showed that global concerns about false and misleading information are high this year, from 82 percent in Brazil to 37 percent in Germany.

It also found that social media users are more likely to say they have been exposed to misinformation about the coronavirus than non-users, with platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp being the main channels for spreading false information. being seen in

Among Indian respondents, most expressed concern about COVID-19 misinformation via WhatsApp (28 percent), followed by Facebook (16 percent), YouTube (14 percent), search engines like Google (7 percent) and Twitter. ( 4 percent).

44 percent of respondents worldwide said they trust news most of the time, with confidence in news rising by an average of six percentage points in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the survey report, this somewhat reverses the recent decline in average confidence, bringing back 2018 levels.

India is also one of the few countries where majority of the respondents (over 50 per cent) were concerned about the financial condition of news organisations, while the proportion was only 32 per cent in the US, 26 per cent in the UK, 23 per cent in the UK. 41 percent in Germany and Singapore.

The survey further found that personalities such as celebrities and influencers receive the most attention among social media news users on all four major networks – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Among the respondents, Facebook users said they pay as much attention to the general public as they do to journalists or news organizations when accessing news, while those using Twitter said they pay as much attention to politicians as they do They give on journalists or news organizations.

The survey found that within India, legacy print news brands and newspapers, in general, are bearing the brunt of the slowdown, while television remains the most popular source, despite the growing popularity of digital media.

Among India’s respondents, old print brands and government broadcasters Doordarshan and All India Radio maintain a high level of trust among consumers.

Print brands, in general, tend to be more trustworthy than TV brands, which are seen as far more polarizing and sensationalist in their coverage.

The survey found that India is one of the strongest mobile-centric markets, with 73 per cent of news accessed via smartphones and just 37 per cent via computers.

India has more than 600 million active Internet users, many of whom access the Internet only through mobile phones – aided by low data charges and cheap devices – it said.

However, the study indicated that the findings should not be taken as nationally representative, as respondents are generally more affluent, younger, with higher levels of formal education and more likely to live in cities than the wider Indian population. is more likely.

For each of the 46 countries, including India, the sample size for the survey ranged between 2,000 and 2,099.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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