People in Europe with populist views trust news media less, survey suggests

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8th June 2018 10:31 - Media and PR

People in Europe with populist views trust news media less: A recent survey by US think tank, Pew Research Centre, has found Europeans with populist views tend to trust the news media less.

The poll of 16,000 people in eight western European countries also found that public attitudes towards the media are divided more by populist leanings rather than left and right ideology – showing an interesting social shift.

The survey polled people in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Holland and Italy and found that respondents who have populist views trust and value the national news media less.

 

Populist or non-populist?

To split respondent responses into ‘populist’ and ‘non-populist’ groups, Pew recorded the level to which a respondent differentiated between normal citizens and the political elite.  For example, the survey identified that people with populist views were those who said ordinary people (rather than elected politicians), would be more successful at solving their country's problems, as well as answering that politicians did not care about the views of people like them.

The survey found that 47 percent of adults in Germany with populist views trust the news media, compared to 78 percent with non-populist views. In the UK, 26 percent of populist thinkers mistrust the media compared to 43 percent of non-populist thinkers.  

The study also revealed that in southern European countries including Italy, Spain, France and the UK, trust in the national media is low.

In the UK, 43 per cent of respondents said they think the news media is ‘very important’, yet only 5 percent trust it. 

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