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India hates politics but loves its media, finds Synovate Survey

10-September-2005
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India hates politics but loves its media, finds Synovate Survey

Politics and politicians are fast losing their sheen in India if the results of an Asia-wide survey are to be believed. According to the survey conducted by Synovate on the news consumption habits of Asians, Indians are interested in gathering information about entertainment (61 per cent) and sports (56 per cent) than politics (38 per cent).

The Synovate News Consumption Survey also finds that Asians are fast catching up with their Western counterparts when it comes to the popularity of blogs and the Internet as a source of news.

One out of 10 respondents revealed that they had gone online to access a weblog for news information in the past week. In some of the technologically advanced countries, the rate is even higher, with 31 per cent of respondents in Thailand, 22 per cent of respondents in China and 19 per cent of respondents in Hong Kong keeping a tab on the developments in the blogosphere.

Synovate’s Director of Media Research, Asia Pacific, Steve Garton termed it as the “biggest development.” But India lags way behind with only 1 per cent of the respondents following blogs for news.

Mobiles are also emerging as a key medium for news and current affairs, at least in China and Thailand, where 18 per cent and 16 per cent of respondents, respectively, receive news or headlines on their mobile phones. However, adoption in other countries remains relatively low, including India (3 per cent).

Television remains the most popular source of information for most Asians, with an 81 per cent following. Despite talks about digital invasion, 46 per cent respondents said that they read newspapers at least once a day for relevant news and information.

One thing the Indian media can cheer about is the high degree of confidence it enjoys amongst the audience. When asked about the statement ‘I trust a lot of the news stories I see or hear,’ 78 per cent of respondents in India, the highest in the region, gave their thumbs up.

Across the region, an average of 58 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement. Thais and Chinese came out to be the most cynical about their media with only 28 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, responding in the positive.

Replying to whether they loved speed or depth of analysis when it came to news, most Indians (67 per cent) voted for speed, again the highest in the region, as against 50 per cent of the Asian average.

The Synovate News Consumption Survey was conducted in the emerging Asian economies of India, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines, with a sample size of 7,900 within the age group of 15-64.

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