Factsheet: News consumption patterns and misinformation perceptions during the COVID-19 crisis in Spain
Dr. María Victoria-Mas is Assistant Professor of journalism at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain. Her research focusses on media consumption and audience perceptions. As a Charlemagne Prize Fellow 2019/2020, she aims to present new approaches on how Public Service Broadcasters (PSB) can foster audience trust and engagement in order to preserve democratic stability, especially focussing on political settings. This factsheet draws the attention on news consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain, analysing how these trends may be promoting misinformation and affecting some key democratic outcomes such as media and political trust after a month of the lockdown in the country. It thereby explores the interactions between news consumption, misinformation credibility for the audience and trust in political and media institutions, using data from a two-wave survey fielded from 15 to 23 April 2020 and from 15 to 22 May 2020.
To compare the data, you can find a recent factsheet on news consumption during the COVID-10 pandemic in the UK here.
The report shows that:
News consumption has increased during the first month of the Covid-19 crisis in Spain
Regarding online news sites or apps, people mainly rely on legacy newspaper brands
Social media and mobile apps are one of the main access doors to news media sites, but also where users find most part of news that they can’t trust on
Some habits associated to digital literacy of news users show a high rate, but around 50% still doubt about some false news and conspiracy theories
Just scientists and the World Health Organization (WHO) have earned the trust of 50% or more of the sample
The assessment of the performance of the democratic institutions during the first month of the crisis is negative