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Local press more trusted than social media

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Local press in print and digital is the most trusted source for local news and information, way ahead of search engines and social media, according to new research published today.

The research found that local newspapers in print and digital are more than three times more trusted for local news and information than social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

Local newspapers, which are read by 42 million adults in print and digital in the UK, scored highest for trust with 74 per cent of respondents agreeing that they trusted the news and information in their local newspaper.

Trust in local media
Trust in local media

The news comes as official figures reveal KentOnline's audience has grown by 12% over the last year to an average of 2.6m unique monthly browsers.

Local papers are the most trusted of all the other sources, coming ahead of search engines (43 per cent), social media (22 per cent) and other websites (39 per cent).

Craig Nayman, chairman of Local Media Works which commissioned the survey, said: “This survey provides yet more compelling evidence of a resurgence of trust in traditional media outlets, with local media leading the way, as the public become increasingly aware of the dangers associated with social platforms and fake news.

“In the current climate, trust is at a premium and advertisers large and small must recognise the clear advantages of partnering with local media in order to communicate with their audiences in a safe, trusted, and highly effective environment.”

Justin Marshall, associate director, YouGov – Digital, Media and Technology Sector, said: “As shown in the data from this research, trust in social media as a source of news is particularly low, followed by general internet searches, whereas trust in established news brands is far greater.”

The YouGov findings echo those of the recent Edelman Trust Barometer 2018 which found that trust in traditional media in the UK is at its highest level in six years (up 13 points to 61 per cent) while trust in social platforms has dropped to 24 per cent and trust in search engines has dropped to 47 per cent.

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