Dr. María Victoria-Mas is Assistant Professor of journalism at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Her research focusses on media consumption and audience perceptions. As a Charlemagne Prize Fellow 2019/2020, she aims to present new approaches on how Public Service Broadcasters (PSB) can foster audience trust and engagement in order to preserve democratic stability, especially focussing on political settings. The latest report draws the attention on news consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, analysing how these trends may be promoting misinformation and affecting some key democratic outcomes such as media and political trust after a month of the lockdown in the country.
From 15 to 23 April, 2020, survey data was collected from a sample of 700 Spanish opt-in panelists recruited by Netquest, a market research company.
The report shows that:
- News consumption has increased during the first month of the Covid-19 crisis in Spain
- Regarding online news sites or apps, people mainly rely on legacy newspaper brands
- Social media and mobile apps are one of the main access doors to news media sites, but also where users find most part of news that they can’t trust on
- Some habits associated to digital literacy of news users show a high rate, but around 50% still doubt about some false news and conspiracy theories
- Just scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO) have earned the trust of 50% or more of the sample
- The assessment of the performance of the democratic institutions during the first month of the crisis is negative
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