After reading the Reuters Institute Digital News report 2018 executive summary, we can definitely say that the most significant development has been the issue of fake news.
Indeed, people’s trust in media is decreasing in part due to the misinformation. We can see that the public is not sure which news brands are reliable and which are not.
For instance, a poll has been made in the US to show the average level of trust people have in selected brands, and the results are really diversified.
In fact, it depends on lots of things, the political leaning is one of them for instance. As it can be seen in the charts, Donald Trump’s election in 2017 had a huge impact on people’s trust in the media. Between 2016 and 2018, left’s trust in liberal media increased from 34% to 49%, whereas right’s decreased from 23% to 17%, which shows how polarised the news media have become after only 2 years of Trump’s mandate.
A majority of people express strong concern about ‘fake news’. They want to be sure about what is ‘real’ and what is ‘fake’ when reading news online.
However, we can still see variations between people’s opinions in different countries. For instance, we can figure out that the countries where people are the most concerned about fake news are Brazil (85%), France (62%) and the US (64%), countries in which there have been recent or ongoing election or referendum campaigns which have been affected by disinformation and misinformation. Whereas in Germany (37%) and the Netherlands (30%) for example, there is much less concern as there has been no problem with the recent elections.
To conclude, we can say that all these examples perfectly show us how the issue of fake news has become a significant development nowadays in the world of media, and how the political life of a country can have a huge influence on it.