Study: Fake News Threatens Audience Trust In Digital Pubs

"Fake news” is threatening audiences' trust in digital-only news outlets and news shared on social media, according to a study from data and marketing consultancy Kantar.

The study, called “Trust in News,” surveyed 2,000 people in four countries — a total of 8,000 respondents in the U.S., U.K., Brazil and France.

It found the “fake news” narrative during recent election cycles has hurt the reputation of online-only news outlets and social media platforms. Traditional print and broadcast media outlets have remained "resilient."

“Traditional news media has largely defended itself against the 'fake news' accusations and continue to enjoy high levels of trust among news audiences. The challenge now is for those companies to monetize that loyalty,” stated Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar.

More than half (59%) of Americans surveyed say hearing about “fake news” hasn’t affected their level of trust in newspapers, and 17% said it has actually increased that trust.

When it comes to social media, 54% of Americans say “fake news” has eroded their trust in those sources.

While 70% of Americans feel that printed news outlets, including magazines, provide them with trustworthy news, only 37% believe social-media outlets can provide trustworthy news.

For the 8,000 people surveyed overall, 72% believe print magazines are the most trusted news source, closely followed by other traditional outlets such as print newspapers and TV and radio news.

Online-only news outlets are “trusted less” by 41% of news audiences. The online channels of print and broadcast media are trusted less too, the study found.

Only one in three surveyed recognize social media sites and messaging apps as a trusted news source.

Kantar's study also found people are consuming more news: 40% of news audiences have increased the number of news sources they use compared to a year ago.

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