The 10th edition of Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 2021, was released virtually on June 23. The report ranks India 31 out of 46 countries on levels of overall trust in news. Only 38% of the respondents from India said they trust news overall.
As per the report, 82% of the survey respondents in India consume news through online sources. Around 63% of respondents get their news through various social media platforms. 73% of respondents consumed news through smartphones, while 37% through their computers.
India is one of the strongest mobile-focused markets in our global survey, with 73% accessing news through smartphones and just 37% via computer. India has more than 600 million active internet users, many of whom access the internet only through mobile phones – aided by low data charges and cheap devices, the report states.
Legacy print brands and government broadcasters, DD News (Doordarshan), and All India Radio retain high levels of trust among consumers. Print brands, in general, are more trusted than television brands, which are far more polarised and sensational in their coverage.
Times of India was the most popular destination for news in the print/TV/radio category. At the same time, NDTV came second, with 44% and 43% of the respondents using these sources weekly, respectively.
Legacy print news brands have borne the brunt of the slowdown. The pandemic has hit print circulation and decreased advertisements, leading companies to slash salaries, cut jobs, and close editions across the country due to the drastic decline in economic activity in one of the world’s strictest lockdowns.
The industry has also had to cope with reduced government and commercial advertisement spending,107, which fell by more than half since the start of the pandemic.
Despite the growing popularity of digital media with the surveyed audience, which tends to lean towards an urban and educated population, television remains the most popular source overall.