Portugal among European countries that most trust news

At a time when the fear of ‘Fake News’ is affecting more than just Trump’s America, a survey has found that most people in Portugal (58%) actually do trust mainstream media – the second highest percentage in Europe.

Finland is the only European country where more people trust the news (62%).

So says this year’s Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which measures the confidence of citizens from 36 countries about their media.

The survey found that SIC, TVI and RTP are the most popular “offline” news sources in Portugal, while Notícias ao Minuto, Sapo and SIC Notícias lead in terms of online news.

It also says that people with left-wing ideologies tend to read Diário de Notícias, while Observador is the go-to news source for those leaning more to the right.

On an international level, trust in news is nothing like this strong. In fact, 33% of more than 70,000 consumers polled elsewhere around the world said they cannot rely on the truth of mainstream news.

In Greece and South Korea, more than 75% of nationals suspect their country’s news services.

“Although mainstream media is not trusted, it is still trusted twice as much for separating fact from fiction as social media,” Nic Newman, lead author of the sixth annual Digital News Report, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“Fake news could be the best thing that has happened to journalism in a long while.

“It’s an opportunity to re-establish the value of mainstream brands and focus on quality.”

The report also found that 54% of people around the world use social media for news though less than a quarter of them (24%) see it as a viable and trustworthy source.

According to Newman, social media is “very good for incidental news and especially in countries where the media is controlled by the government”.

“It exposes people to a far greater range of views and issues such as during the migrant crisis – when people were reporting directly from camps – or on LGBT issues.”

[email protected]