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Program Information
Jason Bermas show
Man-Gods' Super-Fascist Transhumanism, War and the Israeli Messiah?
Regular Show
 Bristol Broadband Co-operative  Contact Contributor
Dec. 28, 2020, 5:18 p.m.
Covid-19 has prompted boom for TV news, dip in media trust worldwide and surge in misinformation - 2020 Digital News Report
By Freddy Mayhew Twitter SHARE THIS


The coronavirus crisis has seen a resurgence in people turning to TV for their news, temporarily bucking the trend of longer-term decline in the face of online news sources.

People have been increasingly turning to trusted news sources during the pandemic, with TV viewing figures booming – along with traffic to news websites – as viewers tune in for the latest updates on the virus.

In the UK, just over half (55%) of respondents to this year’s Digital News Report said they used TV as a source of news in January, compared to more than three-quarters (77%) for online, including social media.

Both these figures rose in April, when the survey was carried out again, under lockdown, with TV climbing to 71% and online up slightly to 79%.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism carried out its main survey of 40 countries in January/February, with sample sizes of about 2,000 adults each, for the annual report.

Then in April it carried out a separate survey to understand the impact of the pandemic on media consumption, covering just six nations: UK, USA, Germany, Spain, Argentina and South Korea, with sample sizes of about 2,000 for the UK and Germany and about 1,000 for the others.

Among the under-35s surveyed in April, more than half (57%) said they had used TV as a source of news in the last week – a rise of 25 percentage points on January – compared to 61% for social media, up 9%.

‘Trust halo’ may be short-lived
The report said: “Overall our April 2020 survey found the news media were considered to have done a good job in helping ordinary people understand the extent of the crisis (60%), and also in making clear what people can do personally to mitigate the impact (65%).”

Across the six countries surveyed for the report in April, 59% of respondents rated news organisations as trustworthy on Covid-19, on a par with national governments and behind scientists, doctors, and health organisations.

By contrast, just 26% said the same of social media and 24% of messaging apps, which both ranked lowest on trust.

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