Local newspapers more trusted than social media sites, research shows

Local newspapers are the most trusted source for local news and information, and more than three times more trusted than social media sites, according to a new report released today from YouGov.

The study revealed that almost three quarters (74 per cent) of people said that local press in print and digital is their most trusted source for local news and information, and despite the rise and dominance of social media, only 22 per cent said they trust the local news read on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.

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Local newspapers also come ahead of local commercial TV and local commercial radio who both scored 73 per cent, search engines (43 per cent) and other websites (39 per cent).

Although times are notably turbulent for regional media outlets, local newspapers are still read by 42 million GB adults in print and digital.

Local Media Works who commissioned the research credit the increasing awareness of fake news as a reason more people trust their local paper than content read on social media.

Craig Nayman, Local Media Works chairman, 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.

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“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.”

The research from YouGov sampled 2131 adults and echoed the results from 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).

However, trust in social platforms has dropped to 24 per cent and trust in search engines has dropped to 47 per cent.

Justin Marshall, associate director, YouGov – Digital, Media and Technology Sector, added: “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.”

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