Fake news has not broken the Danes' trust in the media

NEWS | 5 March 2018

Despite a major focus on “fake news” last year, the Danes still have great trust in the Danish news media. This is one of the points made in Media Development 2017, the annual report on electronic media use in Denmark from the DR Audience Research Department.


In 2017, “fake news” was the subject of many troubling analyses. Therefore, it is relevant to ask whether anything demonstrable has happened to the Danes’ trust in the news media, either on the traditional platforms such as radio and TV, or online and in social media. The report concludes that no negative changes in the Danes’ trust of the major Danish news media can be identified.

 On the contrary, there is a slight tendency towards increasing trust in the media – both as a whole and regarding the specific news products. The level of trust in Danish journalism is higher than it has ever been believed to be. Almost seven of ten Danes state that they have a very high or high degree of trust in the Danish news media; and although the Danes express concerns about fake news, they believe they are able to distinguish true news from false, and state that they are source-critical of social media content.

Streamers are also creatures of habit
Streaming services have not only gained ground in the everyday lives of the Danes, but have also increased the demands of viewers when it comes to selecting content. The choice has moved away from the remote control and switched over to a universe where the number of options has been multiplied; thus, it can be difficult to get an overview of the offering.

 Looking more closely at the TV streamers’ decision-making strategies when selecting news content, it turns out that many of the patterns of behaviour fundamentally resemble those we know from traditional TV. To a great extent, we look for content we are familiar with.

 According to a DR survey, the vast majority of people already know what they would like to watch before they turn on DR’s streaming service, and this particularly concerns programmes they keenly follow and are already familiar with. Aside from the habitual repurchase, trust based on previous experience is the most important means of choosing content.

The report can be downloaded at DR's website.


About the report: Media Development 2017 provides a status update on Danes’ use of media content – on TV and radio as well as online. Among other subjects, it deals with changes in media consumption in relation to fake and breaking news, gaming, and social media.



English translation by: Eva Harrie