Media is a critical source of information, say South Africans

Media is a critical source of information
(Image: Pixabay)

Johannesburg, Monday 11 April 2016 – South Africans want to be “constantly informed about current affairs within their communities and country,” finds Brand South Africa’s 2015/16 Domestic Perceptions study.

The study further suggests that citizens want easy accessible information provided to them, with the most reliable and trusted sources being family, friends/colleagues, followed by mainstream media sources like television and news radio broadcasts.

In order to understand the extent to which South Africans trust sources of information, respondents were asked to rate the various information sources available at their disposal. Family, friends & colleagues; television news; and radio news are the top three trusted sources of information. Online social networking and related sources of information are the least trusted of all possible sources.

Of 2,536 respondents who participated in the survey, over 60% said that they have access to the internet. Of these, 80% use the web for social media, 61% for research purposes, 37% for applications and 33% for access to current affairs and news.

Other media consumption factors from the study included that 92% of respondents own a cell phone, 30% use laptops and 9% use tablets. Just over half the respondents indicated that they listen to radio everyday with Metro FM, Lesedi FM and Umhlobo Wenene being among the most popular radio stations.

A quarter of the population read newspapers every day, with the most commonly read publications being the Daily Sun at 34%, Isolozwe at 8%, the Sunday Times at 5%, Beeld at 4%, Sowetan at 4% and The Citizen at 3%.

There is consensus that the media portrays more negative than positive information and stories about South Africa, with over 62% of respondents indicating that the media in South Africa is too negative about the country.

Brand South Africa’s CEO Mr Kingsley Makhubela, reflecting on the outcomes of the study, said: “It is encouraging that freedom of media, speech and access to information remains one of the greatest successes of our 22 years of democracy. The right to information is a pillar of any free society and South Africans must continue to embrace this fundamental freedom in our country.”

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