Country Profiles

The United States

Americans’ most important news sources in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 50%), newspapers (21%), Internet (14%), and radio (10%). Fully 20 percent of American men name the Internet as their most important news source (second only to South Koreans in the survey). Americans (87%) are second only to Germans in preferring to check several sources of news rather than rely on just one — something that is correlated with the use of Internet news sources.

When asked how much they trust different news sources, Americans give the highest trust ratings to local newspaper (81% a lot or some trust), friends and family (76%), national television (75%), national/regional newspapers (74%), and public broadcast radio (73%) and the lowest ratings to blogs (25%), international newspapers (52%), and news web sites on the Internet (55%).

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned without prompting by Americans include FOX News (mentioned by 11%), CNN (11%), ABC (4%), NBC (4%), National Public Radio (3%), CBS (3%), Microsoft/MSN (2%), USA Today (2%), New York Times (2%), CNN.com (1%), Time Magazine (1%), and friends/family (1%).

Attitudinally, Americans stand out from citizens of the other countries surveyed on a number of dimensions. They are the most critical of the news media’s reporting of all sides of a story; fully 69 percent disagree that the media does this. They are also significantly more inclined to disagree (46%) that the media reports news accurately; and more likely to agree (68%) that the media covers too many ‘bad news’ stories.

 

The United Kingdom

The most important news sources for UK citizens in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 55%), newspapers (19%), radio (12%), and the Internet (8%). As in the United States, it is men who are most likely name the Internet as their most important news source, 11 percent compared to 5 percent of women.

When asked which news sources they trust the most, UK citizens give the highest ratings to national television (86% a lot or some trust), friends and family (78%), national/regional and local newspapers (both 75%), and public broadcast radio (67%), and the lowest ratings to blogs (24%), news web sites on the Internet (44%), and international newspapers (55%).

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned spontaneously in the UK include BBC News (mentioned by 32%), ITV News (8%), Sky News (7%), the Daily Mail (3%), the BBC News website (3%), BBC Radio (with the World Service and national radio each receiving 2%), the Times (2%), the Daily Telegraph (2%), the Guardian (1%), and Google (1%).

UK citizens are strikingly similar to those in the US regarding many of their attitudes to the media. Like those in the US, they are much less likely than citizens in other parts of the world to think that the media reports all sides of a story, with 64 percent disagreeing that the media achieves this. Also 43 percent disagree that the media reports news accurately.

 

Brazil (urban-only sample)

The most important news sources for Brazilians living in major metropolitan areas are television (mentioned first by 56%), newspapers (19%), as well as radio and the Internet (both 10%). In Brazil, men are more likely to use both newspapers and the Internet, while women prefer television and the radio.

When asked which news sources they trust the most, Brazilians give the highest ratings to national/regional newspapers (68% a lot or some trust), national television (66%), local newspapers (64%) and friends and family (57%), and the lowest ratings to blogs (20%), international newspapers (40%) news web sites on the Internet (40%), and international television stations (45%).

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned spontaneously by Brazilians include Rede Globo (mentioned by 52%), O Globo (4%), Folha de Sao Paulo (3%), TV Records (3%), friends and family, Yahoo, and Google (all 1%).

Brazilians’ attitudes to the media are characterized by dissatisfaction with content. Eighty percent, the highest of any country, think the media covers too many bad news stories, while 64 percent (also the highest), agree that they seldom get the news they like from the mainstream media. Seventy-seven percent agree that there is too much foreign influence in their media, while 64 percent think the government interferes too much – both higher than average. Along with those from the US and UK, people from Brazil are also relatively sceptical of the media’s accuracy in reporting news (45% disagree that the media reports news accurately).

 

Egypt (urban-only sample)

Among urban Egyptians, the most important sources of news in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 72%), newspapers (17%), and the Internet (6%). Men have a greater preference than women for newspapers (24% to 10%), while women are more likely to have television as their main news source (81% compared to 61% of men).

Due largely to the influence of Al Jazeera, Egypt is unique in this survey in that its trust for international television: 77 percent have a lot or some trust in it. There are also more than three-quarters (77%) who trust national television, 68 percent who trust local newspapers, 65 percent national/regional newspapers, and 64 percent each of public radio and friends and family. There is little (28%) trust for international newspapers, while 30 percent trust blogs and 32 percent news websites.

Specific news sources mentioned spontaneously by Egyptians as being trustworthy were Al Jazeera (mentioned by 59%), Channel 1 Egypt TV (12%), Al Ahran (6%), Al Akhbar (5%), Nile News (4%), Yahoo and the CNN website (each 2%), Google and BBC World Service radio (each 1%).

Egyptians (43%) are the most likely to say they trust the international media more than their national media. They also have higher than average faith in the media to report news accurately (73% agree it does), although 61 percent agree that the media is too focused on Western values and concerns. Egyptians are among the most likely to have turned away from a media source due to a loss of trust, with 40 percent reporting having done so.

 

Germany

Germans are unique among the populations surveyed in that more name a newspaper (45%) than television (30%) as their most important news source. Other important news sources are the Internet (11%) and radio (10%). More German men than women have the Internet as their most important news source (15% compared to 7%).

The most trusted news sources in Germany are public broadcast radio (83% a lot or some trust), national television (81%), national/regional newspapers (80%) and local newspapers (74%). The least trusted are friends and family (25%) and blogs (38%).

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned spontaneously by Germans include ARD (mentioned by 22%), ZDF (7%), n-tv/N24 (6%), RTL (4%), Suddeutsche Zeitung (3%), Der Spiegel (2%), Deutsche Welle (1%), Google, the BBC and CNN websites (all 1%).

Germans appear to be exceptionally enthusiastic consumers of news, with 80 percent following the news every day and 91 percent preferring to check several sources for their news. However, Germany is the only country where a majority (51%) disagree that the media covers news that they care about. A majority of 54 percent also disagree that the media reports all sides of a story. Germans are confident of the independence of their media from government and foreign influence, with only about one-third of respondents agreeing that these influences are too strong.

 

India

The most important news sources for Indians in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 37%), newspapers (36%), radio (7%), and news magazines (4%). There is no significant gender imbalance in India regarding where people get their news.

When asked which news sources they trust the most, Indians give the highest rating to national/regional newspapers and national television (85% give each a lot or some trust). Also strongly trusted are local newspapers (76%), friends and family (70%), and public broadcast radio (69%). Very low levels of awareness mean that blogs and news websites are each trusted by only 1 percent, while 10 percent trust international newspapers.

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned spontaneously by Indians include AAJ TAK (mentioned by 11%), DD television (10%), Dainik Jagran (7%), Sun TV (5%), Star News (4%), NDTV (4%), AIR (3%), the Times of India (3%), Zee News (2%), Rajasthan Patrika (2%), and BBC World Service radio (2%).

There is broad satisfaction with standards in India’s media with 76 percent agreeing that news is reported accurately, and 69 percent that the media report all sides of a story. A solid majority of 64 percent also agree that the media strikes the right balance between freedom of speech and respect for culture. Nonetheless 58 percent say that there is too much foreign influence in their media and 60 percent that the media is too focused on Western values and concerns.

 

Indonesia (urban-only sample)

In urban Indonesia, citizens’ most important news sources in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 82%) and newspapers (14%). Just 2 percent mention radio first.

When asked which news sources they trust the most, an enormous 98 percent of Indonesians give national television a lot or some trust. Also enjoying very strong trust are national/regional newspapers (91%), public broadcast radio (90%), local newspapers (87%), commercial radio (85%), and friends and family (80%). Blogs are only trusted by 36 percent and news websites by 42 percent, while international newspapers and television are trusted by 54 percent and 57 percent respectively.

The most trusted specific news sources mentioned spontaneously by Indonesians include RCTI television (mentioned by 27%), SCTV (17%), Metro TV (14%), Trans TV (11%), Indosiar (8%), TPI television, Jawa Pos and Kompas (each 3%).

Indonesians’ exceptional levels of trust in their media carry over into specific aspects of its performance – 92 percent agree that news is reported accurately, 88 percent that all sides of a story are reported and, 88 percent that it covers news they care about. These are all greater than in any other country. A corollary is that only 17 percent have stopped using a media source because of a loss of trust. However, a majority of 59 percent do agree that government interferes too much in the media and 53 percent that there is too much foreign influence, although these are by no means the highest around the world.

 

Nigeria (urban-only sample)

In urban areas of Nigeria, citizens’ most important news sources in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 63%), radio (22%), and newspapers (13%). Just 1 percent mention the Internet and 1 percent friends and family.

Nigerians are highly trusting of national television, with 90 percent saying they have a lot or some trust in it. Other well-trusted news sources are national/regional newspapers (75%), public broadcast radio (72%), commercial radio (71%), and international television stations (67%). Blogs are trusted by 21 percent, while news websites are trusted by 41 percent and friends and family by 42 percent.

Asked which specific news source they consider most trustworthy, Nigerians’ responses include Channels TV, NTA television (both mentioned by 16%), AIT television (10%), Silver Bird TV (7%), Punch (5%), CNN, Radio Nigeria, Radio Lagos (all 4%), Radio Kano and BBC World Service radio (both 3%), and BBC World television (1%).

In some aspects Nigerians’ are among the most satisfied with their media. Seventy-five percent agree that it covers news they care about, a figure that is higher only in Indonesia. A substantial 76 percent of Nigerians also believe that the news is reported accurately, although there are also three-quarters who believe government interferes too much with the media. No country polled has a greater proportion who are concerned with government involvement in the media. This may contribute to the fact that 41 percent trust the international media more than the national media, a figure that is only higher in Egypt.

 

Russia

In Russia, citizens’ most important news sources in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 74%), newspapers (9%), and radio (6%).

Russians express the highest levels of trust in national television (84% with a lot or some trust) and friends and family as news sources (81%). They also tend to trust Russian newspapers (69% for local and 68% for regional/national), but not to trust international newspapers (32%). Also not trusted are blogs (16%), news websites (22%), and commercial radio (29%).

Asked which specific news source they consider most trustworthy, Russians’ responses include ORT television (mentioned by 36%), NTV (16%), RTR television (15%), Argumenti i Fakti (6%), friends and family and Komsomolskaya Pravda (both 3%), and the BBC news website (1%). In Russia 3 percent of respondents say that there was no news source they trusted – easily the largest percentage responding this way.

Russians appear to have a strong sense of a national media, with just 30 percent (the lowest anywhere) agreeing that there is too much foreign influence in their media, and only 9 percent (also lowest) agreeing that they trust the international media more than their own. However Russians are also sceptical of press freedom in their country, with only 25 percent thinking that journalists are able to report news freely. Nevertheless Russians seem to get what they want from their media, with 63 percent disagreeing that they seldom get the news they want from the mainstream media.

 

South Korea

South Koreans’ most important news sources in a typical week are television (mentioned first by 41%), the Internet (34%, by far the highest proportion in any of the ten countries), newspapers (19%), and radio (4%).

South Koreans express the highest levels of trust in national television (76% with a lot or some trust), national/regional newspapers (64%), and news websites (55%). International newspapers are little trusted, with 23 percent having a lot or some trust, and only 32 percent trust international television stations. Blogs are trusted by 38 percent, similarly to local newspapers with 39 percent.

Asked which specific news source they consider most trustworthy, South Koreans’ responses include KBS television (mentioned by 18%), the website NAVER (13%), Chosun (10%), MBC television (9%), DongA and ChoongAng (both 6%), DAUM website (5%), Hankyoreh (3%), South Korea’s National TV Station and YTN television (both 3%), and Yahoo and the Economist (both 1%). South Korea is the only country where websites are so trusted to provide for individuals’ news consumption.

These figures demonstrate the great enthusiasm for the Internet in South Korea; further, 85 percent say they value the opportunity to receive news via the Internet or wireless means, higher than any other country. Despite the high endorsement of South Korean websites, a high 71 percent (greater than in any country except Brazil) feel there is too much foreign influence in their media. Many South Koreans also feel that there are not enough ethnic minorities working in their media; 64 percent is the highest anywhere. As in Nigeria, over 70 percent also think that the government interferes too much in the media – potentially a factor driving citizens to turn to less regulated online sources.