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

Public trust in news in the UK, US, Brazil and India has apparently declined, according to a new report by the Reuters Institute published 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 overall 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 ways in which people decide which sources to trust and what to disbelieve, the large segment of people in every country that we call the ‘generally suspicious’ who don’t trust most or even any of the 15 different news agencies we’ve 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 politics in general. They have less experience conversing directly 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 key 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 is that most of these trust gaps are caused by people not using platforms for information. These platforms probably impact trust in more subtle ways, as we also know that people have trouble remembering sources of information. they click on it. “

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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