In a recently released BBC, Reuters and Media Center Poll on the ‘Trust in the Media’, some of the top-line findings show that Indians have a high level of trust in media. The survey also shows that Aaj Tak is the most trusted news source in India across all print and electronic media news sources and that NDTV is the most trusted English news channel. The most trusted regional TV group is Sun, while Dainik Jagran is the most trusted newspaper in the top of the mind recall.
An official communiqué on the findings from the survey stated, “Indians’ trust in media is among the highest out of 10 countries, according to a global opinion poll for the BBC, Reuters and the Media Center. While trust in the national government was recorded at 66 per cent, over eight in 10 respondents (82 per cent) expressed some level of trust in media, a slight increase over the last four years (76 per cent recorded in 2002).”
When asked which news sources they trusted the most, Indians gave the highest rating to national/regional newspapers and national television (85 per cent give each a lot or some trust). Also strongly trusted are local newspapers (76 per cent), friends and family (70 per cent) and public broadcast radio (69 per cent). Very low levels of awareness mean that blogs and news websites are each trusted by only 1 per cent, while 10 per cent trust international newspapers.
When asked for a top of the mind recall for the most trusted news source, Hindi news channel Aaj Tak tops the chart in trustworthiness factor; while in non-cable homes state run Doordarshan still rules. Among the English news channels, NDTV is considered most trustworthy, while in the regional channels the Sun TV group was a clear leader. Among the print media names recalled by the respondents, Hindi daily Dainik Jagran was considered as the most trusted news source, while among English newspapers, it was The Times of India. BBC world service radio scored more than many of the well-known media giants in India.
In the top of the mind recall, the most trusted specific news sources mentioned by Indians include Aaj Tak (mentioned by 11 per cent), DD (10 per cent), Dainik Jagran (7 per cent), Sun TV (5 per cent), STAR News (4 per cent), NDTV (4 per cent), AIR (3 per cent), the Times of India (3 per cent), Zee News (2 per cent) and BBC World Service radio (2 per cent).
Looking at a bigger picture, India’s top 25 media brands based on trustworthiness place Aaj Tak right on top followed by DD, Dainik Jagran, STAR News, Sun TV, NDTV, The Times of India, ZEE News, AIR, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, Channel 7, Rajasthan Patrika, Eenadu TV, Andhra Jyoti, Hindustan Times, Hindustan, AsiaNet, Daily Thanthi, Malayala Manorama, TV9, Udaya News, Matrubhumi, The Hindu and Sahara Samay – in that order.
The other countries polled were Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Great Britain, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russia, South Korea and the US. C-Voter Network conducted the poll in India on behalf of international polling firm GlobeScan.
Other key findings included show that the most important news sources for Indians are television (mentioned first by 37 per cent), newspapers (36 per cent), radio (7 per cent) and news magazines (4 per cent). There is no significant gender imbalance in India regarding where people get their news. More than 75 per cent of Indians agree that Media reports the news accurately and almost 70 per cent believe that it covers all sides of a story.
Every fifth Indian strongly agrees that there are not enough ethnic minorities in the media but almost seven out of 10 Indian respondents said that media respects different cultures and religions. At the same time almost every second Indian complaints that media covers too many bad and negative news stories. This public sentiment almost echoes with the thought of current iconic President of India, APJ Abul Kalam, that media should come up with more positive and constructive news rather than focusing only on the negative happenings.
Six in 10 (58 per cent) respondents say that there is too much foreign influence in their media and 60 percent mention that the media is too focused on Western values and concerns.
1,158 Indian residents were interviewed in person between March 23 and 26, 2006. Indian results are considered accurate to within +/- 3%, 19 times out of 20. The total sample worldwide was 10,230.