Study: M’sians least trustful of news, journalists

TV-malaysiaKUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, which has recently been hit by major international headlines such as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad saga, and the disappearance of MAS’s flight MH370, is where news is the least trusted, with the exception of South Korea, where it is believed that there is undue political and commercial influence on news.

This was revealed in a nine-country study comparing TV, print, radio, the Internet, and social media as news sources conducted by YouGov for the Reuters Institute.

More people say they trust news organisations than those who say they trust journalists, and Malaysians have the least faith in their journalists.

Malaysians and Singaporeans are the biggest users of social media as their primary source of news, while the Internet provides the most important source of news in Malaysia and South Korea.

In Singapore, newspapers are regarded as the dominant news source. However, Singapore shows the biggest gap between young and old in who is consuming print media.

Social sites such as Facebook are preferred to television as news sources in Singapore and Malaysia, in contrast to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Australia, the US and the UK, where TV is still relatively strong.

In Singapore and Malaysia, one quarter of respondents named social media as their main source of news. In Japan and Korea, search and aggregators, including portals such as Yahoo Japan and Naver, are preferred to social media as ways to find news.

Asian countries, with the exception of Japan and Taiwan, are the mostly likely to receive their news through their smartphones.

Hong Kong and Taiwan are the leading markets in which people access news via SMS or apps, while Australians are the least likely to use these gateways.

Taiwanese, Hongkongers and Malaysians, who typically tend to be very vocal online, are the most likely to get involved in a news story, either by writing a blog, joining a campaign, or commenting on a news story.

Trust in journalists

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Q: ‘I think you can trust most journalists most of the time.’ Source: Reuters

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Q: Which of the following have you used in the last week as a source of news?’ Source: Reuters Institute