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KPMG report finds half of UK consumers now concerned by the rise of fake news

KPMG report finds half of UK consumers now concerned by the rise of fake news

A media report compiled by KPMG has recorded rising public concern at the rise of fake news, with half of consumers now troubled by the phenomenon.

While 12% said they were not fussed about the issue some 46% of under 35’s expressed concern about the content they encountered on social media while only 14% of respondents believed that their own social media feeds challenged their established world views.

Some 2,000 adults from across the UK were quizzed on their consumption and attitudes to different media channels, re-establishing the pre-eminence of television as the single most trusted media source with 65% having faith in the format versus 13% who were skeptical. Social media once again trailing in last place as far as trust is concerned with 46% ‘apprehensive’ about what they read compared to just 13% who said they were happy with all that they saw.

As a consequence the KPMG Media Tracker report recommends that media firms do more to prioritise trust among their readership through self-regulation to meet these concerns, particularly as conditions in the media sector now appear to be improving courtesy of a sharp upward tick in ad spend.

David Elms, UK head of media at KPMG, said: “The speed and volume at which information is shared and consumed today makes the lines between news, entertainment, fact and opinion harder to discern. Reputable sources are displayed side-by-side with opinions and sensationalism and, increasingly, it is algorithms, not journalists, which decide which content we see first, or at all. The currency of the internet is engagement, but engagement doesn’t necessarily reflect accuracy and has eroded trust in news sources.

“There is an opportunity for media companies to differentiate their brand by building and ensuring trust at both a consumer and corporate level. Quality, and trust in that quality, is a value differentiator for many established media companies. The appetite for quality news is strong, but the right balance of quality and a price point that’s attractive to consumers hasn’t yet been found. As such, media businesses need to continue innovating.”

The research was undertaken on KPMG’s behalf by Populus with the support of IHS Markit.

A slowdown in TV ad sales prompted GroupM to revise its forecast of media spend growth from 7 to 4% earlier this week.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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