How much do you trust European journalists?

A journalist records Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers as he speaks during a news conference  in Indianapolis, Friday, March 3, 2023.
A journalist records Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers as he speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis, Friday, March 3, 2023. Copyright Darron Cummings/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Darron Cummings/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AFP
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Those surveyed doubted reporters' "impartiality", saying "information is sometimes false and too quickly relayed".

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The quality and impartiality of journalism in Europe have been questioned in a new survey.

More than half of people asked (54%) said the quality of information provided by journalists had "deteriorated" in recent years, according to a survey for the Assises du Journalisme de Tours.

Among these people, 70% said "too biased" and "not impartial enough" information was behind this fall in standards. 

A second reason was that "information is sometimes false and too quickly relayed". 

Public trust in journalists varies significantly around Europe, according to data compiled by Statista.

Finland tends to have the highest share of adults who believe in the news media (69%), while Portugal (61%), Denmark (58%) and the Netherlands (56%) rank well. 

Meanwhile, the UK (34%), Spain (32%), France (29%), Greece (27%) and eastern European countries are on the lower end of the spectrum. 

In Britain, only politicians and estate agents are trusted less than journalists.  

"The question of impartiality" came up often in the survey, said Adrien Broche of Viavoice, which carried out the survey. 

"It goes hand in hand with what we demand of information: since we demand useful and verified information, we demand that it be impartial," he continued.

Still necessary

Yet, journalism was still viewed as important, with the majority of people actively seeking out the information they provide.

84% of those polled said it was "a useful profession", though this was the lowest score in seven surveys, falling 6% compared to 2022 alone. 

The study was published in France, which is currently swept up in mass unrest over controversial pension reforms.

Here Broche said "media coverage was deemed too partisan" and "too harsh" of French President Emmanuel Macron's plans to raise the national retirement age from 62 and 64. 

At the same time, seven out of 10 respondents said information would not confirm or change their opinion. 

They believed facts should give people "the keys to understanding the phenomena that are taking place" in order to "build an opinion through facts", said Broche.

Despite the criticism, a "taste for information was still there", he added. 

95% of respondents said they sought out the news at least once a week, while 69% did so every day. 

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The survey was conducted online in March, using a representative sample of 1,001 adults.

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