Accuracy of news paramount for people: Study

New York, July 6 (IANS) Accuracy is the paramount principle of trust, followed by timeliness and clarity, when it comes to news, a new study has said.

The research, conducted by Media Insight Project -- an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Centre for Public Affairs Research -- found that in the digital age, several new factors like intrusiveness of ads, navigability, load times and having the latest details also play critical role in making a publisher competent and worthy of trust.

The study reaffirmed that consumers do value broad concepts of trust like fairness, balance, accuracy and completeness. 

The team found that accuracy is the paramount principle of trust. Eighty-five per cent of US citizens rated it as extremely or very important that news organisations get the facts right -- higher than any other general principle. 

The second most valued factor was trust although it had more to do with timeliness. Three-quarters of adults (76 per cent) said it was critical to them that a news report be up to date with the latest news and information. 

The third most cited factor that determined why people rely on a news source was related to clarity, with 72 per cent respondents saying it was extremely or very important to them that a news report be concise and gets to the point.

When it comes to online news, people cited three specific factors as most important: That ads not interfere with the news (63 per cent); that the site or app loads fast (63 per cent); and that the content works well on mobile phones (60 per cent). 

The reasons people trust and rely on a news source vary by topic, according to the study. 

For example, people are significantly more likely to say that expert sources and data are an important reason they turn to a source for news about domestic issues than about lifestyle news (76 per cent vs 48 per cent). 

People are far more likely to want their source to be concise and get to the point for national politics (80 per cent) than sports (61 per cent). 

Similarly, people care more that their sources for sports and lifestyle present the news in a way that is entertaining (54 per cent and 53 per cent) than say the same about political news (30 per cent).

The research, featuring a combination of ethnographic activities and focus groups, was conducted from February 24 through March 2 this year.​

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