Which News Can Still Be Trusted?
With Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine, the question of disinformation has once again gained importance. Russia and other authoritarian countries have been trying to influence public opinion in Germany in their favor and destabilize German democracy through disinformation for some time. Using representative surveys, we explore the questions of how widespread the fear of disinformation is among the population and how high the level of trust in the public media is.
Some key findings of our study are:
The fear of false information being spread via the media or the Internet is widely held and has increased slightly since 2021.
Compared to other developments that could trigger fear in society, the fear of disinformation is one of the more important ones.
A majority trusts the public media and considers their political news to be credible. However, perceived credibility has fallen slightly since 2019/2020, especially in eastern Germany.
Fear of the spread of disinformation arises from two opposing directions. A large share trusts the public service media and sees a threat in the spread of contradictory false information. A smaller share distrusts the public media and considers their news to be fake news.
Please note, to date the study is only available in German.