Youngsters trust politicians less than influencers to give truthful news – poll

·2-min read

Young people trust politicians less than social media influencers to tell them the truth about current affairs, a poll has suggested.

A survey of more than 2,000 people aged between 11 and 16 also implied that the main source of news for the age group is social media.

The poll was conducted in May 2022 by Survation and commissioned by BBC Education.

When asked who they trusted most to tell the truth about the news, only 1% of respondents said politicians, while 5% said social media influencers.

The most popular answer was parents, with 36% of the youngsters opting for this.

Some 35% said their main source of news was social media sites including YouTube, compared with 9% who said news websites and 3% choosing newspapers.

TikTok was the most common social media platform for sourcing news, with 30% saying this was the first of the social apps they would use.

Some 23% opted for YouTube while 19% said Facebook and 13% chose Instagram.

The survey comes as the BBC has announced it is launching a campaign, called Other Side Of The Story, to help young people navigate fake news.

Available via BBC Bitesize and through workshops, the campaign will provide videos, quizzes and classroom workshops for young people, teachers and schools.

The broadcaster has said it also aims to help secondary school pupils improve their media and literacy skills, and give them insight into how news stories are constructed, and sometimes manipulated, online.

The BBC was voted the most trusted news provider in the poll, with 67% of the youngsters saying they believed what they read and heard from the broadcaster, followed by ITV at 65% and Channel 4 with 56%.

Some 51% said they trusted news on YouTube while a similar amount – 50% – trusted newspapers.

Despite being the first place many look for their news, the lowest-ranked platform for trust from the options available was TikTok at 31% followed by Instagram at 34%.

Facebook and Twitter, and individual newspapers were not included in the options for this question.

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