A new survey is confirming what many in the media industry have long suspected; people like getting the news, but they don’t feel like paying for it.
That’s according to a survey from the Mustel Group and FleishmanHillard on media, which also found that many British Columbians surveyed trust the mainstream media over what they see on social networks.
That trust comes at a high rate – almost two-thirds of people trust mainstream media more.
While that should create demand for employing more journalists, FleishmanHillard Canada’s Anna Lilley says the trick for media companies is finding a business model for getting audiences to pay for their work.
“That is the conundrum, media is a business.”
She says many outlets are having trouble striking a balance between stories that matter and stories that make money.
“It has been a rocky road and I think there’s not necessarily a lot of clarity about the road ahead. I don’t think that too many people could tell you they have the answer to how the media industry is ultimately going to succeed in this rocky environment.”‘
Meanwhile, the survey finds one in four people have trouble telling the difference between “fake news” and real stories.
Lilley says while that lack of distinction is quickly becoming an issue in our connected age, it’s not all bad.
“We see some of these recent trends and topical issues around so-called ‘fake news,’ and questions about the legitimacy of information that’s shared on social media really eroding some of the trust that people have about what they’re seeing online. Doesn’t mean they’re not going to social media for their news, they definitely are, but 97 per cent of British Columbians are actually skeptical.”
An overview of the survey’s key findings can be found on FleishmanHillard’s website.