Trust in news declines

29 Apr, 2021
Dr Merja Myllylahti
Dr Merja Myllylahti

The AUT research centre for Journalism, Media and Democracy (JMAD) has published its second Trust in News in New Zealand report which examines New Zealand citizens’ trust in news, news brands, and journalism. During the past year, New Zealanders’ trust in the news has eroded. In 2021, 48% of New Zealanders trusted news in general (down 5% on April 2020 survey) and 55% trusted the news they consumed themselves (down 7% on April 2020).

The report is co-authored by Dr Merja Myllylahti and Dr Greg Treadwell.

“In general, trust in the news has declined because the news media is seen as increasingly opinionated, biased, and politicised,” says JMAD co-director Merja Myllylahti.

The survey conveys that New Zealanders want factual information and not opinion dressed up as news, the researchers say.

As in 2020, RNZ and TVNZ were the most trusted news brands and also the most trusted sources of information about Covid-19. Social media platforms were the least trusted sources for news and pandemic-related information.

Newshub and Māori TV were, jointly, the third most trusted news brands. However, Newshub and Newstalk ZB news brands experienced a statistically significant decline in trust.

The Trust in News in New Zealand report is produced in collaboration with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. For the 2021 report, 1,226 New Zealand adults (18 years of age or older) were surveyed between March 4 and 9 by Horizon Research Ltd. The survey has a maximum margin of error at the 95% confidence level for the total sample of ±2.8%.

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