NEW DELHI: While trust in news has grown on an average globally, India ranked lower at 31 among 46 countries surveyed as part of the Digital News Report, 2021, collaborated by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the Asian College Of Journalism.
The findings are based on an online survey of 46 media markets to understand how news is consumed in different countries. This year’s report focuses on trust in news, pandemic-induced economic pressure on news publishers, misinformation and Covid-19 and other aspects of digital news consumption among the public.
India is one of the strongest mobile-focused markets with 73% of respondents using smartphones to access news, showed the survey. Overall, 82% of respondents source news online, including social media, while 63% source news from social media platforms. WhatsApp and YouTube were the top social media platforms from where 53% got their news amid concerns of rampant misinformation on these platforms, it said.
While 44% of total samples for all media markets said they trust news most of the time, 38% in India said they trusted news overall. Finland had the highest levels of overall trust in news with 65%, while the US had the lowest levels of trust at 29%.
In India, respondents were mainly English-speaking, online news users, leaning towards a more affluent, younger, educated, and city-dwelling population. They represent a small portion of a diverse media market in the country. The survey clarified that the findings should not be taken to be nationally representative.