Indians trust national media more than Americans, finds Pew study: Across the boards, Indian media scores better than US counterpart

Washington: In the age of fast-paced social media wherein terms like 'fake media' or 'fake news' is increasingly gathering popular connotation, a significant majority of Indians believe that news reporting by their mainstream media is fair and objective, a survey has said.

In all the parameters Indian media scores better than the American media.

Against a global median of 62 percent people agreeing that news organisations are doing a good job at reporting the news accurately, the Pew survey said that 80 percent of its Indian respondents said that reporting by their news organisations was accurate.

Only seven percent of the Indians believe otherwise, as against a high 43 percent in the US, who said that their media was not objective and accurate. However, a majority (56 percent) of Americans still believe that the mainstream media is objective and fair in reporting.

Next week, the President Donald Trump has announced that he will present one of its kind 'Fake Media Award' to those media outlets he argues does inaccurate reporting. Quite often Trump has identified some of the top American media outlets – CNN, New York Times and Washington Post – as fake media.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to Pew Survey, as many as 72 percent of the Indians believe that their media is doing fairly good coverage of the government. Only 10 percent do not believe so, as against a high 41 percent by Americans, which is higher than the global median of 39 percent.

Fifty eight percent of the respondents in the US still think that the media is doing a good coverage of the government, which is a point lower than the global median of 59 percent. In India, a low 16 percent think their news media are doing a poor job reporting different positions on political issues fairly, compared with 65 percent who say they are doing well. In the US, the figures stands for 52 percent and 47 percent respectively, against the global median of 44 percent and 52 percent respectively Pew said.

According to the latest Pew survey, across other regions, India stands out for its percentage that follows local news very closely (61 percent), against 40 percent in the US and the global median of just 37 percent.

Whole in most of the countries surveyed, interest in local news is equal to or lower than interest in national news, people follow local news more than national news in just two countries – India and Indonesia, Pew said. On the other hand, a global median of 57 percent say they follow international news closely, and just 16 percent follow it very closely.

In India the figure stands at 53 percent and 20 percent respectively. Only 16 percent of the Indian respondents said that they follow the US news very closely, against the highest 28 percent by people in Canada. Pew said a global median of 35 percent say they use social media to get news daily, while 13 percent use it less than once a day to get news.

About half (52 percent) say they never use social networking sites to get news. In India, notably, only 15 percent said they use social media to get daily news. There is a disparity in the gender. Only eight percent of the women in India said they rely on social media to get daily news, as against 22 percent by men.

Releasing details of its survey, Pew said as many as 65 percent of Indians consider that their news media is covering political issues "fairly".

The figure stands 72 percent for government leaders and officials, and 80 percent believe that the media is "accurately" covering the news and 72 percent of them believe the most important news of the day are being covered fairly by the Indian media.

In all these parameters, according to Pew survey, Indian media fares much better than the American media where the figure stands respectively at 47 percent (for reporting political issues), 58 percent (news about government leaders and officials), 56 percent (news accurately) and 61 percent (most important events).


Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018 08:28 AM

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