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‘Fake News’ Charges Hurt Social More Than Traditional Media

At a time when the term “fake news” is frequently tweeted by the most powerful person in the world, a new survey finds that only 37% of Americans believe social media can provide them with trustworthy news.

That compares to 57% who trust TV news, 67% who trust 24-hour TV news channels and 75% who trust printed daily or Sunday newspapers, according to a Trust in News study by Kantar.

Kantar said that the “Fake News” refrain has resulted in 27% of respondent saying they trust mainstream media less than they used to, while 19% say they trust it more.

TV news programs were trusted less by 29% of respondents and 24 hour cable news had 30% of people saying they had less trust.

“Traditional news media have largely defended itself against the ‘fake news’ accusations and continue to enjoy high levels of trust among news audiences. The challenge now is for those companies to monetize that loyalty and we've identified some routes for them to explore,” said Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar. Traditional news media need to have the confidence to invest in their brands, while devising flexible subscription models for younger generations of consumers who have grown comfortable with subscription models. Trust in News will prove a rich source of insight for all news providers trying to navigate this societally-important and fast-changing market.”

Kantar found that 60% of Americans believe the term ‘fake news’ is a story that is factually incorrect, either by mistake or on purpose, while 72% of right-leaning American said “fake news” means a story that is deliberately fabricated by a mainstream news outlet.

Social media is becoming a key source of news for Americans, with 38% saying the get their news through social media. Facebook was cited as the top news source on social media with 85% saying they use it as a news source.

A large majority of Americans—72%--said they haven’t paid for news content online in the past year. Forty-five percent of Americans said they’ve purchased a newspaper in the past year, compared to 40% globally. Just 8% said they feel it’s their duty to pay fo unbiased and independent journalism, with 21% saying they feel news organizations get enough money from online advertising to support themselves.