38% Indians trust news, Americans even less at 29%: Reuters new study

The pandemic stoked hunger for "trusted news" and the Reuters' report this year focussed on trust in news and included India for the first time

According to the Reuters study, which was released on Wednesday, found that 82 per cent of Indians sourced news online, including from social media. 73 per cent used their mobiles to access news. Representative photo: iStock

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.

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Also read: Study: India reports highest cases of internet shutdowns in 2020

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.

“While impartial or objective journalism is increasingly questioned by some, overall people strongly support the ideal of impartial news,” Craig T. Robertson, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute, wrote in the report, according to the Reuters website.
The coronavirus pandemic stoked hunger for “trusted news” in a time of global crisis and a clear majority of people want media organisations to be impartial and objective, The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said on Wednesday.
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