TV and radio are the most trusted media sources in Europe, according to research undertaken by the EBU’s Media Intelligence Service.
Furthermore, well-funded and strong public service media (PSM) go hand in hand with signs of a healthy democracy.
In countries with strong PSM, there is a high degree of press freedom; higher voter turnout than in other countries with weaker PSM; lower levels of right-wing extremism; and better control of corruption.
The EBU’s report is based on data from the 84th Eurobarometer survey, carried out by the European Commission in 33 countries.
It shows that 55% of European citizens tend to trust radio, and 48% say the same about TV. The written press, internet and social media record much lower levels of trust – in the case of social media only 20%.
The findings also show that trust in radio and TV is highest in Nordic countries and Estonia, while it is low in Southeast Europe. Furthermore, the written press is least trusted in Southeast Europe and the United Kingdom, and most trusted in Finland, Netherlands, Albania and Portugal.
Internet and social media are trusted in Eastern Europe, but tend not to be in France, Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Commenting on the study, Roberto Suárez Candel , head of the EBU Media Intelligence Service, said: “It doesn’t surprise us that TV and radio are the most trusted media sources.
“People maintain a strong relationship with radio and TV, which are still their primary sources of information and entertainment. It is also not surprising that in countries where there is a high level of trust in TV and radio, public service media organizations tend to have a higher market share – they produce quality content and provide valuable information for society.”