What is the state of trust in journalism? Reuters recently published the new Digital News Report, in which they report on the state of news and how people interact with it. Mijke Slot, assistant professor and researcher at ESHCC, has been researching the relationship between journalists and their audiences for the past two years. As a result, she was asked to talk about the topic at BNNVARA's Vroeg! last week. Mijke recently concluded her research with a final episode of her podcast "Do we click?". Likewise, EditieNL asked for Mijke's expertise around a new programme from SBS covering only positive news.
Reuters' Digital News Report showed that 57% of Dutch people trust the news, a similar figure to last year. According to Mijke, this is not a surprising figure; her research has shown that people find journalism important and are very engaged with it. But of course, there is always a group that thinks differently about this. Trust in journalism is very important and the media should also do their best to continue to ensure this. The role of media to inform the public correctly and to act as societal watchdog, which is important for a well-functioning democracy.
Furthermore, news avoiders were discussed in Vroeg! Mijke discussed why it is that people (partially) avoid the news. Is this bad and can anything possibly be done about it? Would more input of positive news be a solution? This last question was also discussed in EditieNL on the occasion of the new SBS programme that solely wants to focus on positive news. Mijke revealed that there have been a lot of unpleasant things in the news lately, like climate change and the war in Ukraine, and that it makes sense that people want to hear more positive news. However, she also explained how people are also more likely to click on (sensational) news with a negative tinge, such as an accident or a big scandal involving a politician.