Het gerenomeerde Reuters Institute heeft een groot onderzoek gedaan naar hoe nieuwsconsumenten omgaan met het nieuws in deze bijzondere periode. Om een goed, internationaal beeld te krijgen werd het onderzoek uitgevoerd in zes landen: Argentinië, Duitsland, Spanje, het Verenigd Koninkrijk, de Verenigde Staten en Zuid-Korea.
Een aantal interessante conclusies:
In all six countries, people with low levels of formal education are much less likely to say that they rely on news organisations for news and information about coronavirus, and more likely to rely on social media and messaging applications. In Argentina, South Korea, Spain, and the US, young people are much more likely to rely on social media, and in Germany, the UK, and the US, to rely on messaging applications groups.
When asked how trustworthy they find news and information about coronavirus from different platforms, most respondents rate platforms less trustworthy than experts, health authorities, and news organisations. Results vary significantly across different types of platforms – averaged across the six countries, the ‘trust gap’ between information from news organisations and information from social media is 33 percentage points, between news and video sites 30 percentage points, and between news and messaging applications 35 percentage points. The gap is 14 percentage points on average between news and search engines.
In terms of how well people do when asked a series of factual questions about coronavirus, most people do relatively well, with a clear majority answering more than half the questions correctly (more than three-quarters in every country apart from South Korea (58%) and the US (65%)). Regression analysis shows that using news organisations as a source of information is associated with a statistically significant increase in coronavirus knowledge in every country except Argentina and Spain. No source of, or platform for, information in our dataset is consistently and significantly associated with lower coronavirus knowledge.