The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism conducted a survey in Brazil, India, the UK, and the US, and found that digital platforms are driving the lack of trust in the media.

Here are five things you need to know.

  1. Role of digital platforms in eroding trust in news media: Many journalists and publishers have expressed concerns about the influence of digital platforms, such as social media, search engines, and messaging apps, on the declining trust in news media worldwide. These platforms are seen as facilitating the spread of bad-faith criticism of journalism. However, they are also considered essential for reaching certain audiences who do not engage with traditional news like print or broadcast.
  2. Audience perspective on trust in news: This report looks at the relationship between trust in news and how people perceive news on digital platforms, including Facebook, Google, WhatsApp, and YouTube. The findings reveal that trust in the media varies and often depends on the platform, country, audience, and the type of news encountered in these spaces.
  3. Trust gap between news and digital platforms: People tend to be more skeptical of news from digital companies, despite holding generally positive views of the platforms themselves.
  4. Platform usage and trust: The trust gap is influenced by platform usage patterns, with platforms like Facebook being less trusted than others like Google. Younger, college-educated, and politically interested individuals are more likely to trust news on and off platforms. Notably, the lowest levels of trust are found among people who do not use platforms at all.
  5. Impact on news organisations: News organisations face challenges in being seen on these platforms and having their brands recognised by disengaged audiences. Many people do not come to these platforms for news, which poses challenges for news organisations seeking to reach wider and younger audiences. News organisations therefore have to consider alternative strategies to increase their visibility and relevance.

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