The annual barometer of the newspaper La Croix reports a new etiotion of the perceived reliability of the media. The French, especially the young and the less graduated, are not interested in the news.
Let us bet that the very rich political news of 2017 and its necessarily many consequences will somewhat reverse the accounts next year, but in the meantime, the barometer published tomorrow in La Croix on “the confidence of the French in the media” by Kantar for the Christian daily, is rather alarming.
In spite of a very dense news, the French interest in the news has lost 6 points, and is at its lowest level since 2002 (64% in 2017 vs 70% in 2016). Only 64% of French people say they are interested, with a marked disaffection among young people (56%) and those with less education (58%). Sadly, “at the start of a major election year in a context of rising populism, the French interest in information recorded its worst score in thirty years,” observes La Croix.
For the first time, the survey included a question about “fake news”. Unfortunately they are a reality for 8 out of 10 French people, who consider themselves exposed to rumors that run on social networks, mingled with proven information and positions. 83% of the French say they have been repeatedly exposed to untruths.
Another bad news is the confidence in the media. Although radio remains the most credible medium, it is down by 3 points (52%), followed by newspapers (44%, -7 points), television (41%, -9 points) and the Internet 26%, -5 points). Explanation to this: the perception of the independence of journalists vis-à-vis power reaches its worst score. Only 24% of French people believe that journalists resist political pressure. And 27% of them believe that journalists resist the pressures of money.
Triumph of sites and print applications on all screens
Even if radio and the press are credited with the most reliability, the sources of information of the French remain television (48%, -6 points over a year), Internet (25%, +5 points over a year) radio (20%, +2 points over one year) and the paper circulation (6%, -1 point over one year). This triumph of screens, ubiquitous via television, smartphones and tablets, finally benefits the sites and applications of print media, considered the main source of information on the Internet (28%, -1 point), followed by social networks (19%, +5 points) and the sites and applications of television or radio stations (8%, +1 point). Specialized blogs are stagnating at 3%. On the Web, social networks are the main source of information for the youngest (41% of 18-24 year olds).
A figure still to reassure: the French rely on the media for the presidential election. Despite their declining interest and confidence, 78% even lend them an important role for this very democratic time, especially young graduates. With an overwhelming majority (74%), our compatriots require verified information that allows them to follow the campaign “not statements or even an aid of choice,” the study said.