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News outlet trust comparison

Mark Fletcher
June 22nd, 2020 · 9 Comments

The Reuters Institute assessed the trust Australians have in news outlets:


Category: Ethics · Newspapers · Social responsibility

9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Peter // Jun 22, 2020 at 4:46 PM

    Be interesting to know the sample size used. Not a lot of difference really in the teal coloured “don’t trust” figure, between top and bottom. Seems a growing amount of people in the “neither” category, is that the “couldn’t care less” category? The fact that the oz is technically the most trusted newspaper surprises as I would think, based on circulation or readership, most people wouldn’t even know that this news outlet existed.


  • 2 Mark Fletcher // Jun 22, 2020 at 4:52 PM

    Sample size for Australia: 2,131. Statistically suitable. Australia’s sample size the second biggest in this International research.

    They noted: Data are from more urban areas, rather than a fully nationally representative sample. These will tend to represent richer
    and more connected users which should be taken into consideration when interpreting results.


  • 3 Peter // Jun 22, 2020 at 5:10 PM

    In other words a “diverse” demographic of 2000 people from the inner city.


  • 4 Mark Fletcher // Jun 22, 2020 at 5:12 PM

    However you want to spin it Peter. The study is referred to widely here and overseas, including by news outlets such as News Corp. Given the wide reporting of the results and the 112 page report, it seems respected. I have no connection with the anyone involved in it. I do think the results are interesting.


  • 5 Peter // Jun 22, 2020 at 5:27 PM

    That’s interesting, I hadn’t even thought of you having a connection with anyone involved in it. That could be awkward. I’m just commenting on the limited and biased nature of the sample size. Too many times we are presented with polls and statistics that have been compiled this way. Think our recent election and the US election. It’s the product of like minded people polling like minded people.


  • 6 Mark Fletcher // Jun 22, 2020 at 5:30 PM

    Sure Peter. If you took the time to read the full report you’d realise why the results are respected by a diverse group. This, from page 6 may help you:

    This study has been commissioned by the Reuters Institute
    for the Study of Journalism to understand how news is being
    consumed in a range of countries. Research was conducted by
    YouGov using an online questionnaire at the end of January/
    beginning of February 2020.
    • Samples in each country were assembled using nationally
    representative quotas for age, gender, region, and education.
    The data were also weighted to targets based on census/
    industry accepted data.
    • As this survey deals with news consumption, we !ltered out
    anyone who said that they had not consumed any news in the
    past month, in order to ensure that irrelevant responses didn’t
    adversely a%ect data quality. This category averaged around 3%.
    • We should note that online samples will tend to under-represent
    the consumption habits of people who are not online (typically
    older, less a&uent, and with limited formal education). In this sense
    it is better to think of results as representative of online populations
    who use news at least once a month. In a country like Norway this
    is almost everyone (98%) but in Mexico it is only two-thirds (66%)
    and in South Africa just over half (55%). Our sample in Kenya only
    includes those aged 18-54 due to di#culties in reaching older
    people online. These di%erences mean we need to be cautious
    when comparing results between countries. We have marked
    countries with lower internet penetration or less representative
    online samples with an asterisk (*) in the table at the end of
    this section and have been careful in the report not to directly
    compare these countries on issues where we know that the sample
    di%erence would make results invalid (eg paying for news).
    • It is important to note that some of our survey-based results
    will not match industry data, which are o$en based on di%erent
    methodologies, such as web-tracking. The accuracy of these
    approaches can be high, but they are subject to di%erent
    limitations, meaning that data can also be partial or incomplete.
    • It is also important to note that online surveys rely on recall,
    which is o$en imperfect or subject to biases. We have tried
    to mitigate these risks through careful questionnaire design
    and testing. On the other hand, surveys can be a good way of
    capturing fragmented media consumption across platforms
    (eg social media, messaging, apps, and websites), and tracking
    activities and changes over time.
    • We conducted two additional surveys this year. The !rst was
    a detailed study of paying for online news where we surveyed
    around 4,000 respondents in the United States and the United
    Kingdom and around 2,000 respondents in Norway. Polling
    was conducted by YouGov in February 2020 using a similar
    methodology as for the main survey. In April we conducted
    an additional survey with the Misinformation, Science and
    Media project run by the Reuters Institute in collaboration
    with the Oxford Internet Institute and support from the
    Oxford Martin School to understand the impact of the novel
    coronavirus on media consumption in six countries (UK, USA,
    Germany, Spain, Argentina, and South Korea). Samples sizes
    were approximately 2,000 in the UK and Germany, and 1,000
    elsewhere. We have indicated occasions where data come
    from these additional surveys next to the appropriate chart.
    Where we compare the results from this survey to the DNR,
    we have removed those that use news less than once a month
    to make the data more directly comparable. For more details
    on the methodology for this survey, see the standalone report
    (Nielsen et al. 2020). Open questions were used in our surveys
    and some user comments have been drawn from these and are
    used in the text.
    • A fuller description of the methodology, panel partners, and
    a discussion of non-probability sampling techniques can
    be found on our website along with the full questionnaire


  • 7 Peter // Jun 22, 2020 at 6:38 PM

    Wow, you’re sensitive Mark. I stand by what I’ve said on this matter, based on the note you gave in comment 2

    They noted: Data are from more urban areas, rather than a fully nationally representative sample. These will tend to represent richer
    and more connected users which should be taken into consideration when interpreting results.

    Pretty self explanatory actually


  • 8 Graeme Day // Jun 22, 2020 at 7:31 PM

    Mark, a very interesting comparison.
    i applied my own reading viewing habits as that’s what comparisons are about and……
    .V. News -I watch Channel 7. 6-6.30 for everyday contact local stuff bit Daily Tele news etc.
    2. Switch to Channel 3 SBS News local and International (used to be channel 2) until 7.30. ten Leigh Sales channel 2 howver not now got sick of the political bias. I just want news i am old enough to sort the rest out. Read -subscription and have delivered hard copy Aust. SMH.ST SH.
    Purchase daily Mon to Sat at newsagent AFR.
    Read selective Blogs and business plus entertainment reviews.
    Plus read mainly non fiction but some very good novels.
    Watch SBS on Demand. curently The Bureau French sub titled espionage thriler.
    So pretty much across the board.
    So I found the survey interseting and once I applied my stats I confirmed it’s authenticity of pecking order- according to Hoyle of course.


  • 9 PJ // Jun 22, 2020 at 8:15 PM

    Local and regional newspapers listed as the most trusted and least distrusted of print media. As of next month most will be gone. Admittedly if a higher amount of older consumers were included the Newscorp brands probably wouldn’t do as bad. The result to look at is the don’t trust percentage.


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