India ranked 31 out of 46 countries when it came to ‘trust in news’, according to the Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 2021, released virtually on Wednesday.

On average, trust in news has grown across the world with 44% of the total sample for all media markets saying they trust most news most of the time. Finland had the highest levels of overall trust in news (65%) while the US had the lowest levels of trust (29%), said the report.

The findings were based on a series of opinion polls conducted by YouGov, a UK-based market research and data analytics firm.

The 10th edition of the Digital News Report featured India for the first time in the main report.

This year’s report focuses on trust in news, the pandemic induced economic pressure on news publishers, misinformation and COVID-19 and other aspects of digital news consumption among the public.

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“The Asian College of Journalism provided support in identifying news brands and other specific details relevant for the Indian market in the survey questionnaire, verifying Hindi translation of the questionnaire, and contextualising the main findings for India in its country profile,” a release said.

The study found that 73% of the respondents in India use smartphones to access news; 82% source news online, including from social media, and 63% acquiring information solely from social media platforms like WhatsApp and YouTube.

Meanwhile, WhatsApp and YouTube are the top social media platforms from where people get their news (53% of respondents) amid concerns of rampant misinformation on these platforms.

The survey shows that legacy print brands and government broadcasters score high on trust levels among news consumers in India. Despite securing higher levels of trust, print media suffered heavily from the economic slowdown due to the pandemic, with decrease in advertisement revenues and circulation, resulting in job losses and salary cuts.



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