TV 'most trusted' news source in Wales, BBC poll suggests

By Huw Thomas
BBC Wales arts and media correspondent

Image source, Thinkstock

Social media and the internet are increasingly important news sources in Wales but TV is the most trusted, a poll for BBC Wales has suggested.

The St David's Day poll found 33% of people use online platforms for news, compared to 29% in 2016.

When asked which source they trust the most, 44% said TV while 19% said websites or social media.

Prof Ian Hargreaves, of Cardiff University, said it was "more bad news" for print.

But the professor of digital economy said increasing trust was a challenge for online platforms amid the "swirl of fake news".

The poll results showed a growing reliance on online sources for news, compared with previous years.

Internet sources were preferred by 30% of respondents in 2016, while in 2015 it was chosen by 29%.

Meanwhile, the number of people choosing newspapers for their news has continued to decline.

A total of 13% of respondents said they preferred newspapers, compared with 14% in 2016 and 16% in 2015.

When the data was broken down according to the age of the respondent, there was a stark difference between preferred sources of news.

Online and social media was chosen by 61% of 18-34 year olds and by only 9% of over-65s.

But newspapers are the most popular choice for over-65s, being preferred by 27% of respondents compared with 7% of 18-34 year olds.

Prof Hargreaves said the growth in online news consumption was "striking" but newspapers were continuing to struggle with revenues, despite often performing well online.

"[In terms of trust] television in Wales stands out - its hold on all but the youngest section of the audience is strong and more people say they trust it than those who say they mainly rely upon it," he said.

"Radio, meanwhile, gets trust and use ratings which more or less match each other.

"The challenge for online media amid the swirl of fake news is to increase trust. The challenge for newspapers is to pay their bills. Huw Edwards can afford a smile."

ICM Unlimited interviewed a representative sample of 1,002 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 17 and 21 February 2017. Interviews were conducted across Wales and the results have been weighted to the profile of all Welsh adults.

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