Trust in the news media

An investigation carried out by the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute highlighted that trust in the news media outlets that audiences get their news from is in sharp decline.

28 October 2021

What is the focus? In recent years, the news media outlets have been partly displaced by the emergence of other players, including the instant messaging applications, social networks and streaming platforms (such as YouTube and Twitch). As a result, many people have started to turn to these sites for their daily information, according to the study by the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute.

The least trusting. The profile shows that the least trusting audiences are older, less educated, less interested in politics and less connected to urban centers.

Fake news. Despite the great progress that these platforms have made in how we communicate, the malicious intentions of some users cause millions of people around the world to fall for what has come to be known as fake news. This research by the Reuters Institute at Oxford University concluded that one of the most important issues for users is their ability to identify what is and what is not real and reliable news.

The study looked at three groups classified as “generally untrusting” “selectively trusting” and “generally trusting,” defined on the basis of the relative number of news brands respondents say they trust “somewhat” or “completely.” The study was conducted using data from the United States, United Kingdom, India and Brazil.

  • The researchers found consistent gaps between the groups not only in their attitudes toward the news itself, but also in their views toward other institutions more broadly.
  • One of the key points is that the most untrusting tend to be the least knowledgeable about journalism, the most disengaged from how it is practiced, and the least interested in editorial decisions.
  • “The primary challenge news media and journalists face from this part of the public is not hostility, but indifference. Reaching them, demonstrating the value journalism can hold for them, and earning their trust will call for a different set of responses to gradually improve their confidence,” according to the study.

You can read the study at the following link: