22nd June 2017

Trust in news on social media is falling, say Reuters

Trust in social media as a news source is waning, warns a new survey.


News consumers are becoming increasingly wary of misinformation distributed on social channels, and are more likely to fact-check their news with other providers, a new global survey from Reuters has found.

Tomorrow's News, which launched on 8 June, questioned 1,711 Reuters.com users between April and May this year to find out how audiences consume news today and how this might change in the future.

The survey revealed that when a news story breaks, 74 per cent of people turn to news brands they trust to verify the information, with 54 per cent usually checking multiple sources, up 4 per cent from 2016.

A declining trust in social media was also reported, with only 10 per cent agreeing social media will be their primary news source in the future, down from 14 per cent in the same survey last year.

Even trust in news shared by friends on social media has taken a hit, with just 28 per cent of people agreeing they trust the source of the news stories shared by their family, friends and colleagues, as opposed to 32 per cent last year.

Positively, the majority of people, 83 per cent, check the accuracy of shared news from a range of sources, up 6 per cent from 2016 – and 90 per cent say they try to avoid sensationalism.

Misinformation is, of course, nothing new, and 74 per cent of the people surveyed agreed their news consumption habits have not changed due to the fake news debate.

The report also looked at how audience trust towards news brands will affect advertisers, and found 87 per cent of respondents think it is damaging for a brand to advertise on a news site associated with a fake news story.

Some 54 per cent believe they are more likely to notice an advertiser if it appears on a trusted news site, and 57 per cent of people agreed that trustworthy content is the number one factor that makes online news brands appealing.

Written by Caroline Scott, 16 June, 2017, published on journalism.co.uk. Read the full article here


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