Radio leads the way as the most trusted media in Australia and is seen as the most credible source of news, according to a new survey by global research firm GfK.
The GfK Radio Insights study found 42 per cent of respondents surveyed consider radio trustworthy, compared to TV (24 per cent), online (18 per cent) and newspapers/magazines (15 per cent).
The research also found that 53 per cent of respondents consider radio a credible source of news, compared to 44 per cent for TV, 27 per cent for online and 24 per cent for newspapers/magazines.
Furthermore, 51 per cent of respondents said online was “full of fake news”, while only 11 per cent said the same for radio.
GfK’s general manager of media, Dr Morten Boyer, said the results reflected high levels of trust in radio presenters and the live and human nature of radio, which made it a credible source of information for news, traffic information and emergency updates.
“Many people are questioning the truthfulness of the information they consume, and whether you agree with it or not the ‘fake news’ narrative seems to have touched a nerve,” he said.
“Trust is something that is earned over time through relationship building, so in an environment where people are unsure of which sources to trust, it’s not surprising to see radio come out on top.”
Joan Warner, CEO of industry body Commercial Radio Australia, said the results in Australia were similar to the European Broadcast Union’s recent Trust in Media 2017 study across 33 countries, which also found radio was the most trusted medium, followed by TV.
“People are increasingly sceptical and more discerning about the information sources they regard as believable, so maintaining consumer trust is one of the most important challenges for media, brands and governments,” Warner said.
“Radio performs well because it is more likely to be considered an old friend, and is associated with being personal, authentic and accessible.”
GfK’s study found that 71 per cent consider radio a great companion, while 61 per cent think radio is like an old friend, and 55 per cent think radio connects them more to their community.
The relationship with radio personalities is an important factor in station choice, according to the study, with a sense of humour, knowledge and honesty seen as the most important traits for a radio presenter.