Urban, educated Indians have a trust issue when it comes to the news they read through various mediums, it seems. A recent worldwide study has shown that out of the 46 media markets that were surveyed by the Reuters Institute, India ranked at 31 when it came to its people trusting news.
Interestingly, the Americans are far more skeptical than Indians and figure at the bottom of the ranking. While only 38 per cent in India believed in news, US had the lowest levels of trust at 29 per cent.
These findings were made in a study published in the 10th edition of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ)’s Digital News Report 2021 released on Wednesday (June 23). This year’s study seemed to largely be concentrated on the topic of “trust in news” and it featured India for the first time in its main report, said an Indian Express news report.
The study, which was conducted with the Asian College of Journalism providing logistical support to survey the Indian market, also focussed on the medium through which people in India accessed news.
It was found that 73 per cent of the respondents in India, not surprisingly turned to their smartphones to read their news; and a massive 82 per cent sourced news online, including from social media; while 63 per cent obtained information exclusively from social media platforms like WhatsApp and YouTube.
ACJ and RISJ had largely interviewed English-speaking, online news users, which means that they had surveyed the more affluent, younger, educated, and city-dwelling population. This is not representative of the country, observed the Indian Express report.
The study found that trust in news had grown across the world. But in India, the trust deficit towards news remained high with only 38 per cent in India believing in the news that comes their way. However, Indians placed a lot of weightage on legacy print brands and government broadcasters.
Moreover, the study reiterated that overall most people wanted “fair and balanced news”, and despite the print news facing a lot of challenges with their business model, many were willing to pay for it.