SMIT-VUB Policy Brief: In news we trust. High trust in news hides regional, educational and age-related differences

Op 12 juni publiceert het Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism zijn jaarlijkse Digital News Report. Hierbij is imec-SMIT de Belgische partner.

In het bijhorende Facts and Figures wordt dieper ingegaan op de data en resultaten van het digital news use in Vlaanderen en Wallonië.

In deze policy brief ligt de focus op het vertrouwen in nieuwsverslaggeving en de rol van de journalistiek, in het licht van verscheidene initiatieven met als bedoeling misinformatie te bestrijden.

Klik hier om de policy brief te downloaden.


▪ Trust in news in general remains relatively high in Belgium compared to other countries (7th/38), but trust is much higher in Flanders than in Wallonia; 

▪ While 61% of Flemish news users above 35 years old trust the news in general, this drops to only 38% of news users under 35 years old; 

▪ This is mirrored in younger news users taking more measures to deal with distrust, like discounting the use of inaccurate news sources or discuss news with others; 

▪ Trust in news via social media is remarkably lower, also amongst young news users, even if about 1 in 5 of under 35s says social media are their main news source;

▪ Overall, trust in key legacy news brands, including the public broadcaster, is high in Flanders, with little right/left polarisation in terms of trust amongst their audiences in comparison with other countries or in contrast with some perceptions; 

▪ Flemish news users appreciate news media for keeping them up-to-date and helping them understand the news, rather than for monitoring the powerful. Especially in affluent Northern European countries like Finland and Norway the latter function of journalism is considered more important.