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Trust in Media on the Rise in Ukraine – a New USAID-Internews Media Consumption Survey Says

KYIV, (September 5, 2018) – Ukrainians trust their media more in 2018 than they did in 2017, reversing a generally downward trend in trust seen in polling since 2015, according to the annual Internews Media Consumption Survey presented today at a press conference.

The poll shows increasing trust in both regional and national television and internet-based media across all regions. For instance, trust in regional TV and internet-based media increased by 10 percent each, while trust in the nationwide TV and internet-based media increased by 7 and 10 percent respectively. This reversed a trend from recent years that saw trust in national TV drop from 61 percent in 2015 to 54 percent in 2017, national radio slip from 39 to 33 percent, and trust in national newspapers slip from 34 to 28 percent during the same time period.

“We are pleased to report our poll’s latest results: for the first time since 2015 we have recorded a rise in the popularity and trust of both television and the internet-based media. All this shapes today’s media landscape, while Ukrainians become more active news consumers and tend to compare more sources to verify the information they receive,”  Internews Director in Ukraine Wayne Sharpe said during the presentation.

The 2018 Media Consumption Survey was conducted by InMind at the request of Internews, a media development organization that is implementing the “Ukraine Media” (U-Media) Program with financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The survey’s main objectives are to define Ukrainians’ media habits and measure their trust in media, media literacy, and awareness of Ukraine’s reforms process. InMind representatives surveyed 4,000 people between May and June 2018.

Ukrainians increasingly turn to the internet as their “major” source of information and news. The poll revealed that since 2015 the share of Ukrainian internet users has risen by 12 percent; 82 percent of Ukrainians are now online.

Kateryna Zagryvenko, InMInd Business Development Team Leader, presented the survey’s methodology as well as regional differences in media consumption and media literacy

The rise of internet and digital media has an instant impact on media consumption. These are reflected in increases in news gathering figures, namely, a 6 percent increase in use of news websites and an 8 percent increase in use of social media. The sharpest increase in online media consumption was seen in Ukrainians between 46 and 65 years of age.

The poll found that, in Ukraine, shortly after the 2017 ban on Russian social media use, Facebook saw a considerable 14 percent growth in membership over the past year alone, and, at present, 57 percent of respondents use this platform, with 42 percent using it to get news.

In addition, 65 percent of survey respondents think there should be a ban on all political advertising on TV during Ukraine’s upcoming election cycle. Respondents said they are in favor of a more personalized approach when it comes to listening to politicians during election campaigns – including leaflets and hand-outs at clearly-branded tents and face-to-face opportunities for a more meaningful interaction.

Finally, the survey also showed that Ukrainians remain keen on continued reporting on reforms, and, compared with last year, public awareness of healthcare reform, decentralization and energy efficiency reforms went up, while the numbers on land reforms awareness dropped. Healthcare reform scored the highest – with 71 percent of Ukrainians saying they are aware, but out of these about 45 percent say they have sufficient information about it.

Download the full presentation here.

Photos: Svitlana Grygorenko, Detector Media