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Urban Indians Are Skeptical Of News Disseminated By Influencers, Bloggers, Leaders, Celebrities On Social Media - Ipsos Global Survey

Indians say they pay for news from sources they trust (57%) and are willing to pay for news from the sources they trust (56%).

Photo Credit : ShutterStock


According to the global survey by The Trust Project and Ipsos, 71% of urban Indians and 64% of global citizens believe they have easy access to news from sources they trust. At least 6 in 10 urban Indians (59%) say they read news they can access for free. 67% of global citizens hold this view.

This study results from a collaboration between Ipsos and the Trust Project to explore four key factors influencing the future of truth and trust in media:  technological changes that affect how and where people get news, access and affordability of quality news, ongoing disinformation campaigns, and the extent of nativist and populist sentiment. The Trust Project news partners helped develop scenarios in each area to produce survey topics. 

“Media entities are highly evolved in India. There are trusted sources for news; media houses that come with ethos and values and have built reputations over many decades of news dissemination, beating the odds. Further, Indians look at various sources for news and free news is readily accessible across social platforms and digitally. Now news can be accessed at a mere click and it has become easier to stay updated, going beyond the conventional sources,” says Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.

The findings in the report come from two surveys conducted on Ipsos’s Global Advisor platform. The first and main survey was conducted May 22-June 5, 2020 in 27 countries among 18,998 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey, and aged 16-74 in 22 other markets: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China (Mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, and Sweden. The second survey (question on social and civic engagement) was conducted June 19-July 3, 2020 among 20,047 adults in the same 27 countries plus Colombia (aged 16-74) and Israel (aged 18-74).

Fake News and Trust

Interestingly, more number of Indians say they can tell Real News from Fake News – at least 6 in 10 (60%) believe this; but they have less confidence in the ability of people, in general, to be able to spot real news from fake – only 47% urban Indians believed they could. 

Indians say they pay for news from sources they trust (57%) and are willing to pay for news from the sources they trust (56%). 

The survey also shows that urban Indians are skeptical of news disseminated by influencers, bloggers, leaders, celebrities on social media – they tend to trust news shared by people personally known, friends, and relatives more (58%) as opposed to news shared by bloggers, celebrities, leaders (48%), on social media. Global citizens are more circumspect in news consumption – 4 in 10 (42%) will trust people known personally, while only 1 in 4 (24%) will trust news shared by bloggers, celebrities, and leaders.

Global citizens (46%) and urban Indians (54%) believe their citizens are targeted by other countries with disinformation and fake news. “Disinformation and fake news can lead to discord and incite citizens and are in poor taste; sadly, a number of countries face it. Legal action can act as a deterrent,” adds Adarkar.

Online Adverts – few takers

1 in 3 global citizens (35%) and 2 in 5 (42%) urban Indians say they use software or apps that block online adverts. Global citizens (66%) and urban Indians (69%) say, they try and avoid online adverts, as far as possible.

Where is news read most?

One thing is clear, Indians are globally one of the largest consumers of news. Conventional media vehicles and new ones are all leveraged for staying updated. Daily news is accessed most via TV (78%), Social Media (77%), News apps (64%), News sites (57%), print – newspapers, and magazines (56%), and Radio (23%).  Notably, India has the world’s largest number of those accessing daily news via Print. And TV for daily news is very popular in Japan (76%), Italy (74%) and Turkey (73%).  

“News is accessed from multiple sources to stay updated. Some news is accessed on the go, some read for finer nuances and some watched to further get the perspective. It is not about one over the other. Each has its own place in the consumer’s information needs, in times of instant gratification,” said Adarkar.   

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