The annual report surveyed 93 432 people in 46 countries and ranked South Africa second overall in terms of trust in media. It found that between 2019 and 2022 trust in media grew from 49% to 61% in the country.
Of the people surveyed in Africa, the report found that 61% of South Africans trusted most news, most of the time. This was compared to 58% in Nigeria and 57% in Kenya, according to the report.News24
scored 85% on the trust barometer, followed by eNCA,
which scored 84%. The rest of South Africa's top 10 trusted news brands are as follows:
- BBC News
- SABC News
- Sunday Times
- Mail & Guardian
- The Citizen
- EWN, and
- regional or local newspapers.
In terms of growth, the report found that City Press, Sowetan
and Daily Sun
had grown by as much as 6% in 2022.
The report found that South African news publications were increasingly emphasising the importance of trust as part of their journalistic brand value. The institute acknowledges News24
’s recent decision to change its slogan from 'Breaking News. First' to 'Trusted News. First'.
This move followed News24
’s introduction of a subscription service for its premium investigative journalism, opinion and analysis in August 2020. In the 18 months after launch, News24
managed to convert 50 000 readers to paying subscribers.News24
editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson says he was extremely proud of his team for again grabbing the top spot in this survey.
"Trust is to golden metric. Over the past year, we have exposed countless corrupt officials, unscrupulous businesspeople, sex offenders and dodgy politicians who abuse power and mislead the public. It is incredibly satisfying and a massive vote of confidence to know the public sees and appreciates this," Basson concludes.
In its global analysis of the 46 countries surveyed, the Reuters Institute found that much of the public was either turning away from important stories or selectively avoiding them.
This included stories about the pandemic, the Russia / Ukraine war as well as the cost-of-living crisis. It also found that there was a general decline in trust and an overall declining interest in the news, although South Africa bucked the trend.
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