Think Indian Media is “Fair & Accurate”? You’re Among 80% Indians
The study by Pew Research Center states that a higher percentage of Indians believe their media is fair and accurate, as compared to the rest of the world.
The study by Pew Research Center states that a higher percentage of Indians believe their media is fair and accurate, as compared to the rest of the world.(Photo: The Quint)

Think Indian Media is “Fair & Accurate”? You’re Among 80% Indians

Over 80 percent of Indians believe that all news reported by their mainstream media is fair and objective, a survey by Pew Research Center has found. According to the study, Indian media scores better than American media in all parameters.

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India Better Than Global Average

Sixty two percent people surveyed said news organisations were doing a good job at reporting news accurately.

As per the survey, 80 percent of Indian respondents believed that reporting by their news organisations was accurate. Only seven percent of Indians believe otherwise, as compared to 43 percent respondents in the US, who said that their media was not objective and accurate.

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For the US, the figures stand 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).

The survey comes close on the heels of US President Donald Trump announcing that he would present 'Fake Media Awards' to the media outlets who engage in what he alleges is inaccurate reporting. In the past, Trump has repeatedly labelled the likes of CNN, the New York Times, and The Washington Post "fake media". Interestingly, the usage of the phrase ‘fake news’ shot up by 365 percent in 2017, according to a BBC report; Publishing house Collins named ‘fake news’ the 2017 Word of the Year.

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Most Indians Believe Their Media is Fair

According to the Pew Survey, as many as 72 percent Indians believe that their media covers the government well. Ten percent disagreed,

Only 10 percent does not believe so, as compared to 41 percent Americans – higher than the global median of 39 percent. Fifty eight percent of the respondents in the US still think that the media is doing good coverage of the government, a point lower than the global median of 59 percent.

In India, 16 percent think news media does a poor job of reporting different positions on political issues fairly, compared to the 65 percent who say they are doing well.

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In the US, these figures stand at 52 percent and 47 percent, respectively, against the global median of 44 percent and 52 percent, respectively, Pew said.

Local News vs International News

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

In most countries surveyed, the interest in local news is equal to or lower than interest in national news. However, the Pew survey states people follow the local news more than national news in only two countries – India and Indonesia.

A global median of 57 percent say they follow international news closely, and just 16 percent said they 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 US news very closely, as compared to 28 percent respondents in Canada.

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Social Media & News Consumption

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, only 15 percent said they use social media to get daily news. However, only eight percent of women in India said they rely on social media to get daily news, as against 22 percent men.

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(With inputs from PTI & BBC)

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