23:40 GMT29 November 2020
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    A study has revealed that only one in five people in the UK believe that social media does a good job at separating fact from fiction. According to a survey conducted by the Reuters Institute annual Digital News Review, less than half of those surveyed think that mainstream media does a good job at separating the truth from what is fake.

    The Digital News Review study surveyed 70,000 people in 38 countries and found that one in three respondents actively avoided the news, with almost 50 percent claiming that it was too depressing.

    ​In the UK, overall trust in news outlets had dropped by 7 percent post Brexit.

    ​The reason why many people stopped trusting the media was because both sides of the referendum debate believed that they were fed fake news.

    ​​Globally, only 24 percent of people think social media does a good job in separating fact from fiction and that figure dropped to 18 percent in the UK. Compared to a global figure of 40 percent who thought news media did a good job in that regard, the UK scored 41 percent.

    Only people in Greece reported more confidence in social media, with 28 percent saying it did a good job compared with 19 percent for news organizations.

    ​According to one of the lead authors of the report, Nic Newman, the public's concerns about fake news should encourage the media to write distinctive, high-quality journalism.

    However, one positive finding came from the fact that under-35s were prepared to pay for news, this number has increased from 9 percent to 16 percent since Donald Trump became US president.

    ​Mr. Newman said media organizations should be more optimistic about this year's review, saying that it is "myth" to say that young people will not pay for news. The new business models and memberships schemes have helped increased readership among the younger generation.

    ​"The worries that people have about the quality of their news means there is an opportunity to charge, or to cut through with more distinctive journalism," Mr. Newman said.

    "People are beginning to realize if you don't pay for it then you are the product," he added.


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    mainstream media, fact-checking, fake news, depression, social media, survey, journalism, media, news, Digital News Review, Reuters Institute, Donald Trump, US, United Kingdom
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