Despite almost unlimited news options online, most people still tend to use a small number of sources. Our findings suggest that news brands continue to play an important role in all our countries, particularly in Brazil, Spain, Italy, and the United States, where over 80% said they accessed news from sites they know and trust.
We also asked if online news users noticed which sites they were using when they clicked on news links. In some countries, significant numbers say they just look at the news that interests them, but brand matters more in some countries than others. In the UK only 16% said they didn’t notice what sites they were using.
Preference for accessing news via trusted sites (all countries)
One key factor in reducing brand recognition appears to be social media. Heavy social media users in the UK are more likely to agree that ‘they don’t notice which sites they are using’ (23%).
Looking at our segments across all countries, people who are most interested in news say that they value trusted brands most strongly. In contrast, casual users are less likely to notice which site they are viewing.
Preference for accessing news via trusted sites by segment (all countries)
In the UK – where there has been much discussion about the ethics of the press and broadcasting in recent years – we asked people to rate trust in different types of online news, including traditional media, foreign media, as well as social media and blogs.
Trust in different types of online news providers (UK)
Overall, online news from national broadcasters is most trusted (79% quite or very), followed by national newspapers (60%). In contrast, Facebook (8%) and Twitter (10%) are least trusted, with foreign broadcasters somewhere in the middle (21% trustworthy).
Levels of trust tend to decline amongst the oldest groups for all media types. The 25–34 year olds show greater trust than other groups in social media and foreign broadcasters. This suggests that this group of digital natives is more open-minded when it comes to trying alternative sources of online news.