How credible are articles with news information

Gallup certifies STANDARD the highest value in the credibility of corona information

Vienna - Corona fatigue leaves many traces: Despite increased fear of infection, approval of the government's measures has fallen to only half of the population. According to Gallup's current Corona mood barometer, the proportion of those who no longer inform themselves about Corona is falling again. However, more than a third of Austrians very often refuse to receive corona messages, and a further 46 percent occasionally deliberately avoid it.

In this difficult environment, according to Gallup, it is quality media that have high credibility in news about the coronavirus and Covid-19 disease: 87 percent of those surveyed who previously stated that they used this media * named the STANDARD, 80 percent each the "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" and the "Salzburger Nachrichten". The radio station Ö1 (87 percent), the "Presse" (77 percent), the ORF (75 percent), the "Kurier" and the "Tiroler Tageszeitung" (73 percent) are also rated as highly credible.

A similar picture emerges when evaluating the relevance of corona information. In the latest survey at the beginning of November, Gallup reported 72 percent of the "Presse", the STANDARD and the "Salzburger Nachrichten" 69 percent each, the "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" 68 percent.

If the crisis becomes acute again, the Austrians confirm, in addition to the quality titles of the print sector, the public service offers higher credibility and relevance values, in the case of ORF 75 and 78 percent respectively.

Journalistic quality criteria relevant

For the fifth time from November 5 to 10, 1,000 Austrians were surveyed online about the Corona crisis, their image of politics in connection with the pandemic and their media use for the Corona mood barometer. "The good news is that journalistic quality criteria obviously play a role," said media scientist and consultant Andy Kaltenbrunner from Medienhaus Wien.

Andrea Fronaschütz, Head of the Gallup Institute: "Despite the fatigue, the traditional media brands are most intensively used by Austrians for current information needs at national and regional level." The highest proportion among the young readers would be "quality titles with a good online offer". 47 percent of 16 to 30-year-olds stated that they had printed the STANDARD regarding corona information or read it online. According to Fronaschütz, young people also use direct sources, i.e. web offers from the ministries.

The most frequently used news source for Corona information is still television (79 percent), followed by newspapers (print and online; 56 percent), radio (49 percent) and social media (32 percent).

Fronaschütz sees a niche in Servus TV: With its high proportion of critical statements on corona measures, the station has apparently created a community of corona skeptics that gives the station a high level of relevance (65 percent) and credibility (72 percent). The public interest in Corona information (21 percent) is higher in the survey results than the usual market share of Servus TV.

The Corona Barometer locates a lack of overview or overload due to too many messages in almost half (45 percent) and uncertainty as to which of the different sources to trust in around a third as motives for the news refusal. With almost a third of each, it is the insight that nothing can be changed in the situation or the news is perceived as stressful.

Majority fears collateral damage

The assessment of the collateral damage of the corona policy has turned. Here, for the first time, the pessimists are in the majority: "63 percent believe that the economic consequences of the Corona measures will destroy the lives of more people in our country than the disease itself, and 56 percent fear that social isolation will indirectly cause more damage is called Covid-19. " According to Fronaschütz, the respondents made the connection between the risk of infection and a reduction in personal freedom, but the assessment of the government measures was at the lowest point since the beginning of the Corona crisis.

Another indicator of suboptimal crisis management, according to the Corona Barometer, is falling trust in the health system (from 53 to 40 percent). The opinion that the worst is yet to come has fallen back to March's level at 44 percent. The proportion of those in the population who believe in a corona conspiracy remains stable at 27 percent.

Against this background, according to Fronaschütz, transparency is required in corona reporting. It is about "communicating clear, research-based facts to the right extent and always keeping an eye on the negative emotional effects of too one-sided communication". (glicka, November 18, 2020)

  • Clarification: The text adds that the credibility information relates to those respondents who stated in a preliminary question that they used this media. This was immediately pointed out in the graphics for this article.

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