Why We Trust Print, Not Digital

In a world of digital media, it’s often considered that perhaps print is dying a slow death. While this may not be entirely untrue, print still has something very important that digital simply does not have at the moment, and that is trust.

If anyone is wondering how print news has become more trusted than online news, despite the fact many print media also have a digital presence, then you only need to consider the word of the year for 2017, which was “Fake News”.

The rate of usage was found to have increased by 365% in 2017, which is described by Collins as “false, often sensational, information disseminated under the guise of news reporting”. Stories that are found to be fake news have unfortunately permeated in many areas online, with stories that were fake having higher levels of engagement on social media sites such as Facebook.

Fake new sites have a worrying tendency to influence people into believing facts that are patently untrue, resulting often in virulent reactions to something that simply doesn’t exist. It also means that legitimate news organisations are having to fight an uphill struggle to be recognised as sources of true stories.

Trusting In Traditional Print

A global research study from Kantar saw 8,000 individuals being surveyed across the UK, USA, France and Brazil on their attitudes to news coverage. It focused particularly on coverage of politics and elections, which are often filled lately with fake stories that are intended to influence voters.

The ‘mainstream news media’ has managed to retain its status as legitimate news, with many viewing attempts to brand stories as ‘fake news’ as a failure. In fact, the reputation of traditional print such as print magazines were found to still have high levels of trust, with 72% of respondents finding it to be the most trusted news source.

Closely following this was print newspapers before TV and radio news soon followed. In contrast, digital sources of news such as social media or online only news networks suffered negative opinion. Only one in three people would trust a social media site or messaging app as a source of trusted news.

This is obviously good news for printed media as the drive to attain more truthful stories could in turn increase revenue for traditional print. As such, it could result in a boost for print media, even in a world that is becoming ever more digital.

Sarah Jubb