National television and radio news – along with BBC Online – emerged as the most trusted media for what consumers perceived to be balanced and candid coverage during the EU Referendum and UK General Election, according to new research.
At a time when ‘fake news’ has been such a hot topic of debate in the communications world, a new consumer research report by elephant communications explored consumer trust towards the media, with research undertaken during a number of major political events – the UK General Election, the EU Referendum and also the US Presidential Election.
Whilst 51% of respondents said they didn’t trust any media for what they regarded as balanced reporting, broadcast news emerged as more highly rated than various forms of print news or social media. This was common across all age groups.
When asked which specific factors may have undermined people’s interest in following the news and current affairs developments, fake news was an issue for 54% of respondents. That said, the new research suggests that – from a consumer perspective – this is actually part of something much broader. Issues of greater concern included the perceived point scoring and smearing between political parties (65%), too much scaremongering over negative issues (62%) and the perception of media with an obvious bias.
Also noted from the research, the perceived decline of regional and local media was also seen to be a factor that weakened people’s interest in following the news.
The similarity of results between the EU referendum and the UK General Election periods suggests that consumer trust issues are not a reaction to specific events but represent an underlying issue to be tackled.
Guy Bellamy, Managing Director at elephant communications commented: “The research probably reflects the public’s reaction to some of the evocative issues such as Brexit that have divided opinion. However, what is notable from the study is people value and want good journalism in their world. In an age where people can access information in an instant pretty much from anywhere, the research also reveals that consumers don’t just want bland, convenient content on the go. They want to read, watch or listen to news material that is interesting and thought provoking. In the digital age, we could well see a flight to quality as people rate the quality of stories over their convenience and sensationalism.”
For more information on the new report, contact the elephant comms team via the website www.elephantcommunications.co.uk