Bognar on Trust in the Media

July 21, 2020

“Trust in media, in the news is terribly low globally,” CMDS’ Senior Program Officer and Researcher, Eva Bognar said in an interview with the radio program Media1 on Spirit FM, where she talked about the Digital News Report 2020.

“Only 38% of the respondents said that they more or less trust news in general. In Hungary, this number is even lower, only 27%. This earns Hungary the 35th place out of 40 countries in the survey,” Bognar said.

In the interview she talked about different levels of trust in traditional, online and social media, and pointed out that trust in the public service broadcaster in Hungary is exceptionally low compared to other countries. Only 41% of Hungarians trust their public service media (MTV), while in most countries this number is above 60%.

HVG is the most trusted brand in Hungary: 63% trust the outlet, followed by RTL Klub (a national commericial tv), with online news portals Index and 24 in the top four. These brands are all considered rather critical of the government, while trust in government-aligned media is generally lower according to the DNR survey. Interestingly, only half the people in the survey trust the news they consume.

Trust in institutions in Hungary is low in general, but one of the reasons of low trust in news specifically is the highly polarized nature of Hungarian society. Politicians also play an important role: “It’s extremely harmful when the Prime Minister labels news media whose reporting he doesn’t like ‘fake news’,” Bognar said.

In Hungary, only 10% of respondents pay for news, but there is hope for news organizations as those between 25-34 are more likely to open their wallets than older respondents. According to Eva Bognar, members of younger generations get used to paying for quality and comfort online, and show their loyalty and support for quality journalism. 

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