83% Indian news consumers concerned about fake news: BBC Study

BBC World News and BBC.com have released a study of APAC news consumers on the value of trusted news sources in the fake news era. Titled ‘The Value of News – and the Importance of Trust’, the study reveals that 85 per cent of Indian news consumers say that international news is more important now than ever before – the highest across the countries surveyed. However, 83 per cent are concerned about fake news and 72 per cent find it hard to distinguish between real and fake news. 83 per cent of respondents say they are more inclined to refer to well-known and established news brands because of fake news. 

The BBC study reveals new insights into the value of trust for brands advertising on media outlets. Traditional news publishers are the most trusted type of digital platform and the trust level for brands associated with these outlets is more than 40 per cent higher than digital native news websites. In India, 69 per cent say they would trust an advertiser more and almost three quarters (73 per cent) say their brand consideration would increase if it is advertised on a trusted news channel or website. In addition, they are more inclined to read sponsored content on these sites (78 per cent agree). Conversely, more than seven out of ten people (71 per cent) say that being associated with an untrusted media outlet would negatively affect their perception of a brand. 

TV is still the most popular platform for Indians who want to stay up-to-date with international news, with 93 per cent saying they use it, followed by social media (80 per cent), newspapers (62 per cent), news apps (54 per cent), websites (45 per cent) and news aggregators (44 per cent). The study shows that news consumers both in India and across the wider APAC region consider BBC World News to be the most trusted international news channel. 

According to The Global Web Index, consumers’ use of digital news/ social feeds complements, rather than cannibalises, news consumption on pay TV. Across APAC, online news consumers are four times as likely to watch international news channels as those who don’t consume news online and 94 per cent of Indian mobile phone users share international news stories on messaging platforms – again the most of any country surveyed. [Based on BBC World News reach % as reported by The Global Web Index, Q4 2015 - Q3 2016. Base: APAC online users (Universe 935m / n=59,327).

Jim Egan, CEO, BBC Global News, remarked, “These results reveal the full extent to which India is feeling the effects of the fake news phenomenon. Trust is becoming increasingly important as people seek out information they can rely on and the BBC’s traditional values of accuracy and impartiality have never been more relevant to both audiences and brands who can benefit from being aligned with them.” 

The research was conducted independently by BDRC Asia in March 2017, covering the markets of Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and India. In the Indian market, the number of respondents was 326 in the 18-54 age group, who are digitally savvy international news consumers (at least once-a-week) and Pay TV/ cable TV subscribers, decision maker/ joint decision maker for channel package subscription. The overall sample size was 1,549.


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