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Which News Can Still Be Trusted?

Fear of Fake News and Trust in Public Media – A Representative Survey

In representative surveys, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation has investigated the extent to which people fear the spread of disinformation and whether they trust public service media. In particular, we take a look at possible changes in perceptions of the problem of disinformation and trust in public service media in light of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

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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.

Read the entire study "Which News Can Still Be Trusted” here as PDF.

Please note, to date the study is only available in German.

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Dr. Jochen Roose


Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3798
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Dominik Hirndorf

Dominik Hirndorf

Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3858


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About this series

The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.

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The contributions appear exclusively online and can therefore not be ordered.


The current main topics are “Development policy”, “Sustainability” and “Election and social research”. The contributions of these sub-series are presented for you on separate overview pages in addition to the overall series.