The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in a statement that the coronavirus pandemic has fuelled the hunger for trustworthy news at a time of global crisis, and the majority of people want media organizations to be fair and objective.
The report is based on surveys covering more than half of the world’s population in 46 markets.
In Western Europe in particular, confidence in news grew during the pandemic, helping brands with a reputation for reliable reporting, even though the mistrust was evident, especially in the divided media in the United States.
As a result of the technological revolution, 73% of people now access news through their smartphones, up from 69% in 2020, while many use social networks or messaging apps to consume or discuss news. TikTok now reaches 24% of under-35s, with greater penetration in Asia and Latin America.
Facebook is seen as the main platform for spreading false information, although messaging apps such as WhatsApp also play a role in spreading fake news.
Tech giants also served as platforms for dissent, pointing to protests in Peru, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and the United States.
In the U.S., more people distrusted the news than trusted it, as Donald Trump’s defeat in the 2020 U.S. presidential election reduced demand for news.
Those who felt that the media had been unfair were those with right-wing political views. Young people between the ages of 18 and 24, black and Hispanic Americans, East Germans, and certain socio-economic strata of Britain felt unfairly treated.
For more information, read the original story in Reuters.