A majority of Indians trust the mainstream media to give them fair and objective news, according to a new survey American think tank Pew Research Centre released on Thursday.
Globally, 62% of the respondents agreed that their news organisations were doing a good job at reporting accurately. In India, 80% of those who were surveyed said their media houses were accurate. Only 7% of Indians believe otherwise, unlike in the United States, where 43% said their media was not accurate or objective.
This survey was released just days before US President Donald Trump is set to announce his “Fake News Awards” to the media organisations he claims are unfair to him and his administration.
In India, 72% of the respondents believe that their media is doing very well at reporting news about government leaders and officials, against a global average of only 59%. Similarly, 72% of the Indian respondents said their media was doing a good job of covering the most important news events of the day. A median of 73% across the 38 nations polled said their press covered the most important news well.
As much as 65% of the respondents believe the Indian media is doing well at reporting on the different political issues fairly, against a global average of only 52%.
Of the countries that were polled, “People in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific are more satisfied with their news media, while Latin Americans are the most critical”, the survey said, adding that India stands out as the only country among those that were polled to say that it is sometimes “acceptable for a news organisation to favour one political party”.
As many as 41% of Indians said it was acceptable for news organisations to, at times, favour one political party, compared to 25% who said it is never acceptable. Globally, 75% of respondents said such media bias is never permissible.
India also stood out as 61% of the respondents followed local news more closely than national news, going against the global trend of only 37%.