Hungary has the lowest trust in the news in the region: only 30% of Hungarians trust the news, says a recent Reuters Institute survey.
According to ATV, the Reuters Institute of Oxford University has been researching the trust in media products for 10 years now. Their Digital News Report examined media trends based on a survey of 92,000 residents in 46 countries, says Telex. As in previous studies, CEU’s Institute for Democracy was the Hungarian partner for the research.
Éva Bognár, a researcher at the CEU Institute, told ATV that among the countries where the public’s confidence in the news was measured,
Hungary finished in last place in the region, with 30%.
Telex writes that nearly half of the total sample (44%) claimed to trust the news “most of the time”. In the Nordic countries, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, trust is typically higher. Finland is leading the list with 65%. Confidence in the news remains the lowest in the United States (29%).
The coronavirus increased both people’s demand for reliable news and confidence in the news in most countries. While the international average rise was 6%, in Hungary, it was a modest 3%. During the last 10 years, Hungary’s percentage has slowly decreased. According to Bognár, it would be especially important for people to trust the news in a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. The survey showed that people turned to traditional news sources and, in general, trust in the public service media was rising.
Hungarians’ trust in the public service media, however, is very low.
The report also suggests that the pro-government press in Hungary received significant funding through government advertising spending, while the market’s advertising spending fell by 38% compared to last year.
According to the Reuters Institute, due to the restrictions, the situation of the print media became particularly difficult, and more and more press products turned to digital subscriptions. The majority of Hungarians read the news on their mobile phones, and paid content is becoming more and more popular: now 14% of Hungarians pay for online newspapers.
Generation Z hardly consumes news from traditional sources, but the role of TikTok has increased, claims Telex. On the ‘old-fashioned’ social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, journalists and traditional media sources tend to dominate the news, though most participants of the research have identified Facebook as the number one source of fake news.
Bognár says people have a relatively good opinion of the online portals: 24.hu and Hvg top the list of Hungarian press products. Interestingly, Telex finished fourth despite being a relatively new player in the media market. The most important event in the Hungarian media scene, according to Bognár, was the change of ownership and editorial staff of Index. As a result of last year’s events, the reliability of Index in the eyes of readers has fallen by 7%.