Sunday 17 December 2017

Only one in three EU citizens trust the internet, as levels of trust in traditional media increase

Less than a quarter of EU citizens surveyed said that they trust social networks
Less than a quarter of EU citizens surveyed said that they trust social networks
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Levels of trust in traditional media are increasing across Europe as people question what they read online, according to a new European Broadcasting Union report.

The report found that broadcast media remains the most trusted media throughout Europe, with radio trusted by some 59pc of EU citizens, closely followed by TV which is trusted by 50pc of EU citizens.

In the last five years, trust in both radio and TV media has continued to grow across Europe.

Meanwhile, possibly fuelled by the debate around fake news, trust in the internet and social networks continues to fall, with trust in social networks is at its lowest ever level.

Only 36pc of EU citizens surveyed in the 33 countries where the survey was carried out tend to trust the internet, while less than a quarter of those surveyed said that they trust social networks.

“It is reassuring that the public’s level of trust in broadcast media is actually increasing across Europe.

In this post-truth world, it is encouraging to see the public can differentiate between competing sources of news and have chosen to put their trust in more traditional media,” Roberto Suarez, head of the EBU’s media intelligence service, said.

The survey also revealed some interesting geographical comparisons.

Outside of the UK, it is mainly south-eastern European citizens that show the least trust in the written press, while western European citizens show the least trust in social networks.

Meanwhile, trust in radio and TV is highest in the Nordic regions. In Finland, for example, 82pc of people tend to trust radio and 78pc trust TV.

The results are based on data published in the 86 Eurobarometer survey and gives an idea of European citizens’ perception of the trustworthiness of different types of media.

The survey consists of approximately 1000 face-to-face interviews in the 33 countries covered by the study.

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