UK: People's faith in news organisations dips tremendously during pandemic, new research finds

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Oct 27, 2020, 03:48 PM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( DNA )

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A new report paints a grim picture of people's faith in news organisations in the United Kingdom, peculiarly for information surrounding COVID-19

A new report paints a grim picture of people's faith in news organisations in the United Kingdom, peculiarly for information surrounding COVID-19.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism on Tuesday said that only less than half of people in the UK trust news organisations as a valid source of information surrounding coronavirus.

The level of faith people have in news organisations has especially dipped during the pandemic. According to estimates by the Reuters Institute, at least 8 million people are now at risk of being ill-informed, or less informed.

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The Insitute added that this might cause people to absorb false information. Currently, the UK is grappling with another wave of coronavirus.

"The significant growth in the number of people vulnerable to misinformation means the UK is less well equipped to deal with the coronavirus communications crisis during the second wave and the winter ahead," director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen told Reuters.

In terms of information about COVID-19, trust in news organisations fell from 57 per cent in April to 45 per cent in August. 

Additionally, absorption of coronavirus-related news had dipped by 24 percentage points in the same period: Roughly from 55 per cent to 79 per cent, according to the Institute.

''Information inequality is a real and growing problem, with systematic inequalities around age, gender, as well as income and education in how people engage with information about the coronavirus, suggesting that the ways people navigate the second wave and make sense of the far more explicitly politicised and often polarising responses to it will be even more marked by inequality than earlier parts of the crisis'', the report added.

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The report adds that even though the majority of the people in the country currently remain informed about the pandemic, at least 20 million people still felt that news media and government hadn't adequately explained to people how they must continue to fight COVID-19.

"With some exceptions, most of the UK public are informed about COVID-19 as a disease, report that they have behaved cautiously and mostly followed government guidelines, and say they are willing to take precautionary measures if instructed to do so", the report found.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism tracks media trends and is stationed at the University of Oxford.

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