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WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube widely used for news: Reuters survey

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Ground Report | New Delhi: WhatsApp, Facebook, YouTube; User confidence in the news and the media has increased to 44% globally, six points more than last year, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, as indicated in the Digital News Report 2021 published this Wednesday by the Reuters Institute of the University of Oxford (England). At the same time, the pandemic has also accelerated the digital transformation and has negatively impacted the consumption of paper publications, since “distribution was very difficult and there was less circulation during the week”.

However, news from traditional media strengthened their level of trust with respect to social networks, which are 20 percentage points ahead of them, according to the document. The report, produced by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, attached to the University of Oxford, in collaboration with national institutions on 6 continents, bases its data on the responses of 92,000 participants from 46 countries, including Spain and, for the first time, among others, Colombia or Peru.

The covid-19 pandemic marked the 2020 agenda, and it also made the most headlines. Specifically, more than half of those surveyed (54%) claimed to have seen fake news about the virus, especially in Africa and Latin America. Politics was also, during the past year, a subject very susceptible to misinformation, with about a third.

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People in India are making maximum use of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, and YouTube for news. According to the report, 73 percent of users in India receive various types of news through smartphones and 37 percent through computers. f the participants pointing to politicians as part of the problem. On the other hand, 11% negatively highlight journalists.

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WhatsApp Facebook YouTube

The report said that the main reason behind the greater use of smartphones than computers for news is cheap internet data and smartphones. This is the reason why currently 600 million active Internet users access the Internet only through mobile phones. More than half the respondents in the survey said that they use WhatsApp, Facebook, or YouTube the most to get news or other news.

The Reuters institute highlights that Facebook reduced its influence on access to information last year, unlike WhatsApp and Instagram (two subsidiaries of the same group) or TikTok and Telegram. The exchange of news on TikTok (a platform dedicated to leisure in its origins) developed with the coronavirus crisis and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Platform to spread false news

Nick Newman, the senior research associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, said in the report, “Facebook is seen as the main channel for spreading false news almost everywhere, but messaging apps such as WhatsApp are also seen in some parts of the Global South such as seen as a major problem in Brazil and Indonesia.”In such a situation, it can be said that due to the increasing use of social media, there is a rapid spread of fake information.

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Television is overall the most popular source for news as per Digital News Report 2021, but people have more trust in print brands, the report said. The main reason for this is that there is more polarization and sensational news in it. Citing recent Television Rating Points (TRP), the report suggested that despite the popularity of Republic TV, there is less trust in television brands ahead of older print brands.

The Digital News Report of the Reuters Institute of the University of Oxford is published every year and its mission is to explore the future of journalism through academic research, debate and connecting with people.

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