The French still consider journalism “useful”, but their proportion has never been so low

This is a revealing observation of the “acute social and political crisis“that the country is going through, writes Adrien Broche, head of political studies at the ViaVoice institute. The polling institute publishes its 2023 barometer on Tuesday on the usefulness of journalism in partnership with Radio France, France Télévisions and France Médias Monde in the framework of the International Journalism Conference in Tours.

According to this barometer, 84% of French people believe that “journalism is a useful profession“. A rate that is still satisfactory, but down six points compared to 2022. Above all, it has never been so low since the launch of the barometer in 2018.

In detail, the survey, carried out online from March 9 to 13, among 1001 people representative of the French population, indicates that it is the French people least unfavorable to the pension reform for whom the “usefulness” of journalism is the most backward. Executives on the one hand (-14 points), and retirees or people over 60 on the other hand (-9 points).

Employees and workers are the least likely to consider journalism useful (80%) but the drop in interest is on the average (-6 points). Regarding ages, the decline is also strong among 25-34 year olds (-8 points). As for political affiliations, far-right sympathizers and abstainers are the least numerous, judged journalism “useful“, even if they are all the same respectively 78% and 82% to think so.

The French are increasingly trusting sources “outside the reference media”

76% of French people continue to trust first and foremost the information they find in “professional media” (television, newspaper sites and above all radios, in the lead). However, 67% of them believe “that reliable information can be found outside the mainstream media“. This trend is up three points.

Journalism as an “institution”, whose 2022 edition had highlighted the vocation of a democratic pillar, is also found “jostled“: 83% of French people believe that journalism will always exist and that we cannot imagine a society without the media, but this proportion has dropped by 4 points compared to last year. Similarly, 81% of respondents believe that the journalism is essential in a democratic society, down three points from last year.confidence levels” remain high,”these slight setbacks are to be taken seriously“, says Adrien Broche again.

Among the themes where the drop in confidence is the most significant: political life (-4 points), social issues (-5 points) and the economy (-8 points), for which barely more than one French out of two trust journalists.

They have lost the “taste” of information, but continue to inform themselves

Overall, 32% of French people feel they have lost the taste for information over the past three years, in particular because of excessively anxiety-provoking news (74%) and because journalists repeat themselves (73%). However, the barometer does not note “informational apathy“. More than nine out of ten French people continue to get information at least once a week, and 69% say they do so “every day“. 88% still believe that “inquire” East “something useful“and 84% something”essential, as a citizen“.

Among the subjects on which the French get the most information, we find social issues, health, news items and the economy. In addition, 48% of French people, or nearly one in two, regularly get information on the climate emergency. In this year of pension reform, the French are primarily interested in national news (74%), before that of their city (43%). International news interests 30% of French people, and European news only 18%.

Finally, just over one in two French people (54%) consider that the quality of information has deteriorated in recent years. For three-quarters of those questioned, it is “sometimes false and too quickly relayed” Or “not impartial enough(70%). They therefore expect journalists first and foremost to “verify false information” (62%),

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