Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Result

I can’t believe the news today: International statistics on trust in news media

In the wake of the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald J. Trump, trust in both news and social media seems to have taken a blow. Recent findings of the Reuters Digital News report, to which SMIT contributed, find that such trust varies greatly across countries.

Proportion of people who trust in the news varies greatly on an international and national level

The Reuters Digital news report is based on a survey of more than 70,000 people in 36 markets, across 5 continents, including Belgium. There are wide variations in trust across the 36 countries. The proportion that says they trust the news is highest in Finland (62%), but lowest in Greece and South Korea (23%). Belgium is somewhere in between (48%), but remarkably, Flanders (57%) scores much higher than Wallonia (38%). The data also show Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter users see news from brands they normally would not use, suggesting that social media might actually counter instead of amplify filter bubbles.

Want to learn more about the Reuters Digital News Report and SMIT’s contribution to the report?

These are but a few key highlights of the 2017 Reuters Digital News Report. The report is funded by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) at the University of Oxford and executed in collaboration with a partner network of international researchers. SMIT acts as the Belgian partner, with Senior Researcher Ike Picone contributing the country report for Belgium since 2016. The 2018 survey is currently being prepared.