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Trust in traditional press in Germany has surged in a time of general media skepticism in many parts of the Western world. According to an April 2017 report from Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, 55.7% of consumers in Germany said they trusted traditional press last year, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2015. That response rate was also the highest of any year going back to 2000.
Interestingly, the survey also found that trust in traditional press was relatively high among the youngest demographic polled, those ages 15 to 24. Nearly six in 10 (59%) respondents from this group trusted traditional print in 2016. Only two other age groups, those 55 to 64 and those 75 and older, had a larger number of respondents who trusted traditional press, at 60% and 66%, respectively.
A survey conducted by Mentefactum for Gesellschaft Public Relations Agenturen (GPRA) in November 2016 found that 83% of consumers in Germany ages 14 and older named German-language business newspaper Handelsblatt as a trusted traditional media source in the country, the highest rate among those mentioned.
Fake news has certainly been a source of concern in Germany, as it has in many other markets. In comments made in December 2016, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas called on the country’s justice system to take a tougher line against fake news disseminated on social networks like Facebook. In March 2017, Maas said social networks could face fines if they did not better police illegal content posted on their platforms, including fake news items and hate speech.
Despite these concerns, eMarketer reported in January 2017 that Germany may be less vulnerable to fake news than countries like the US and the UK, thanks to a preference among consumers there for newspapers and public TV as the main sources for political information.
US paid media ad spending will grow steadily in 2017, on the heels of a strong 2016 boosted by the Rio Olympics and the presidential election. A focus on mobile will fuel growth, pushing total media spend to more than $206 billion this year—a moderate increase of 6.1%.
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