Regulators

European trust in media: radio outshines social networks, TV falls steeply

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NEW DELHI: This one will make radio fans go ga-ga with delight.

Radio still remains the number one trusted source of news for European citizens even as the overall perception of the trustworthiness of the media has decreased over the last five years.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) also found that social media, increasingly the primary source of news, is the least trusted, and even a distrusted medium in Europe.

The annual Eurobarometer survey showed that although trust has decreased for radio as well, it remains by far the most trusted source of information. Most countries show a positive attitude towards radio and it came out as the primary trusted source in 20 countries, with an average of 55% positive response. Particularly high scores came from Sweden (74%), Finland (66%) and Denmark (57%).

Television, the second most trusted medium, is still the number one source in 11 countries but trust in television has decreased much more rapidly over the last year than the other media - with 10 points as opposed to radio, which only fell by three points, and the written press, the internet, and social media which decreased by only one point.

In only one out of 33 countries surveyed, Albania, the number of people who trusted social media as a source of news outweighed those who tended not to. In all other countries people "tend not to trust" social networks, with those in Sweden, Luxembourg, and Britain having the least trust in social networks as a source of information.

The internet also scored particularly low, as in the majority of countries, people "tend not to trust" it. Only 12 countries had positive results, most of which are in Southeast Europe.

The written press is not perceived to be much more trustworthy than the internet.

Only 13 countries showed positive results, mostly in Nordic and Benelux regions where people have more trust in the press. In 14 countries it is regarded as the least trusted medium.

Roberto Suárez Candel, head of Media Intelligence Service at EBU, told The Guardian that the results did not come as a surprise: “People maintain a strong relationship with radio and TV, which are still their primary sources of information and entertainment."

"It is also not surprising that in countries with a high level of funding for public service TV and radio there tends to be more trust in the media in general – they produce good quality content and provide valuable information for society,” he told The Guardian.

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