Does Anyone Trust the Media? - eMarketer
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Does Anyone Trust the Media?

Online news scores surprisingly high.

May 1, 2009

People around the world do trust the media, but to varying degrees.

According to TNS, the good news, for Internet content producers, is that people now trust the information they get from online news—roughly to the same degree as news from television and information from friends.

Globally, the most trusted information source was friends, with 42% of those surveyed saying that they trusted word-of-mouth recommendations. About an equal number trusted TV news (41%), online news (40%) and newspapers (39%).

Naturally, there were variations in media trust from country to country, but several patterns emerged.

Internet users in the US and Canada held similar attitudes toward the media, with the largest differences in the US’s comparative lack of trust in newspapers and TV news.

Most Trusted* Media According to Internet Users in Canada and the US, 2008 (% of respondents)

Looking at Western Europe, UK Internet users were the least trusting of newspapers, while those in France, Italy and Spain put the least trust in TV news. Web users in France also held online news in the lowest esteem.

Most Trusted* Media According to Internet Users in Select Countries in Western Europe, 2008 (% of respondents)

Internet users in Nordic countries were relatively trusting of online media, with around one-half the respondents from each country expressing their trust. Users in Denmark trusted it even more than word-of-mouth.

Most Trusted* Media According to Internet Users in Finland, Norway and Sweden, 2008 (% of respondents)

Throughout the Asia-Pacific region, online news ran close to TV news and newspapers in trustworthiness.

Most Trusted* Media According to Internet Users in Select Countries in Asia-Pacific, 2008 (% of respondents)

Wikipedia, despite being among the most highly visited Websites worldwide, was less trusted among the countries surveyed than industry magazines, industry Websites and product comparison sites.

Finally, private blogs were the least trusted source in almost every country. In China, however, where bloggers are sometimes jailed for what they write, 24% of Internet users said they trust them more than free papers and company brochures, though little else.

Around the world everyone trusts some of the media…some of the time.

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