Study: Trust In Media Falls, People Less Interested In News

Trust in media is lower in the United States than any other place in the world, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2022, a global study released in June. 

Finland has the highest level of trust at 69%, while the U.S. has fallen three percentage points to 26%, the study notes. 

In addition, people are less interested in news in general. In the U.S., 47% say they are interested, which is down from 67% in 2015. Of a selected group of countries, only the UK fares worse, with interest dropping from 70% in 2015 to 43%. 

And many actively avoid the news, including 42% of respondents in the U.S. That’s up from 41% in 2019 and 38% from 2017, spanning the Trump years and the pandemic.

But Brazil tops the list in terms of news avoidance, with 54%, up from 34% in 2019 and 27% in 2017. The average among all countries is 38%, up from 29% in 2017.  



The reasons for news avoidance vary with the person’s political outlook. In the U.S., 65% of those on the right feel the news is untrustworthy or biased, versus 20% of those on the left. 

Also, 49% of respondents on the right feel there is too much news on COVID-19 and politics, compared to 23% on the left.

Lefties are more likely than righties to avoid news because it brings down their mood—57% as compared to 54%.  

In the U.S., only 39% of left-leaniing readers trust most news most of the time. But that’s up from 35% in 2015. In contrast, only 14% of right-wing readers trust the news, down from 25% in 2015. 

Older readers are more likely to think journalists should stick to reporting the news on social media and not insert their political views:

  • 18-24—34% 
  • 25-34—28% 
  • 35-44—42% 
  • 45-54—47%
  • 55+--57%

In contrast, younger groups are more accepting of opinions, saying reporters should be able to express their personal opinions alongside reporting the news: 

  • 18-34—46%
  • 25-34—44%
  • 35-44—41%
  • 45-54—37%
  • 55+--29% 

In the U.S. overall, 51% feel journalists should stick to the news. Europe has similar numbers, but only 28% in Brazil agree, along with 27% in Japan.

Meanwhile, a relatively flat number of consumers are paying for content via online subscriptions. Across 20 countries, 17% are paying, the same as last year. In the U.S., that figure is 19%. 

In Norway, 41% of readers are paying, along with 33% in Sweden. 

The poorest showing is in the U.K., where 9% have paid for subscriptions. 

The study was commissioned by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and conducted by YouGov at the end of January/beginning of February 2022. YouGov surveyed consumers worldwide, including 2,036 in the U.S. 

1 comment about "Study: Trust In Media Falls, People Less Interested In News".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, July 7, 2022 at 6:35 a.m.

    Are people less interested in news about the weather, or sports, or their own local community, or world events---like the war  in Ukraine? Or are some, mostly "conservatives" or "progressives" less interested in news about Trump, the many  investigations that swirl around him as well as politics in general? I suspect that in the U.S. at least, the political turn-off is the main reason for less interest in "news"---with Covid-19 coming in a close second.

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