More people are reading the news, and have more confidence in what they read

Detail of a pile of international newspapers
Detail of a pile of international newspapers

People in the Netherlands have more confidence in the news they read, and have been consuming more since the start of the coronavirus crisis, according to the Media Commission in a new report, compiled together with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

The report, based on a survey of over 2,000 people at the beginning of this year, shows that interest in the news in a wider sense and in politics has increased during the coronavirus crisis, but asks if this interest will remain once the pandemic is out of the headlines.

There are, however, strong age-related variations. Two-thirds of the under-24s say online news and social media is their most important source of news, but this is only the case for 20% of people over the age of 55. They consider television news and printed media to be the most important sources.

Nevertheless, the percentage of people who have paid to use an online news service in the past year rose from 11% to 17% and more than half of youngsters said they would be willing to pay in the future. This figure is only 13% among the oldest age group in the survey.

Some 40% also said they had been confronted with wrong or misleading information about coronavirus in the previous week. Journalists and news organisations were blamed by just 7% of respondents while some 37% blamed activists and campaign groups and 17% politicians.

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