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Cypriots go online for news, despite mistrust

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Seven out of ten Cypriots prefer to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world by going online, despite detecting a high percentage of fake news being spread by sites and social media.

A survey carried out on behalf of the Union of Cyprus Journalists (ESK), found that 68% of those asked said they had spotted fake news on social media (53%) and online news sites (15%).

Nevertheless, a large percentage of citizens turn to the internet for information on issues that concern them, with 73% showing a preference to social media, while 48% also turn to online news portals.

About 76% of Cypriots still turn on the television for the latest news. But when it comes to fake news, 20% of people interviewed said that they had spotted fake news being spread by Cyprus TV stations.

The survey, conducted by Cypronetwork and sponsored by Bank of Cyprus, also found that Cypriots claim to be aware of fake news infiltrating media in general, as 40% say that they believe fake news infiltration is high, and 44% believe that fake news are moderately observed.

 

Low level of trust

The survey records that citizens’ trust towards information found on the internet is low. When it comes to social media networks, positive ratings for reliability amounted to just 17%, when it came to objectivity, just 23% gave a positive rating, while for quality positive reviews amounted to 29%.

Online news portals are widely trusted, with positive reviews for reliability standing at 29%, objectivity at 31% and quality at 35%.

Some 51% of participants stated that they have confidence in Cyprus’ media (35% disagreed) and at the same time 54% trust the Cypriot journalists (31% disagreed).

Also, 54% believe that journalists are making excess use of power (24% disagreed).

A 44% of respondents believe that there is job insecurity in the media sector and 37% that media institutions are understaffed companies.

Only 4% of people asked said that Cypriot journalists produce quality work, while 18% disagreed. Some 43% of people asked said that journalists maintain high standards of integrity, and 46% believe that they are credible.

At the same time, 42% believe that media organisations are financially dependent (13% disagreed), while 47% believe that there is political influence over the media.

The survey was conducted by Cypronetwork on behalf of the Union of Cyprus Journalists with the support of Bank of Cyprus.

Some 1,000 people, all aged 18 and above, took part in the survey based on personal and telephone interviews from July 13 to August 6.