Detalle Publicación

Professional roles and functions of journalism: expectations and trust of Spaniards

Título de la revista: VIVAT ACADEMIA
ISSN: 1575-2844
Número: 156
Páginas: 24 - 46
Fecha de publicación: 2023
The idea that journalistic work is crucial to the proper functioning of society is deeply rooted in academic and professional circles. However, the profound changes brought about by the digitalisation of the public sphere lead us to question whether this relevance is still present in the daily lives of citizens. For this reason, this research analyses Spaniards' perceptions of the importance of journalism, their trust in news and their assessment of how journalism fulfils its functions. It also examines whether there are differences in these issues between users whose main sources of information are traditional media (print, radio and television) and those who get their information from digital sources (digital media and social networks). The study is based on surveys conducted by YouGov for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report (DNR) in 2019, 2020 and 2021 among a panel of around 2,000 Spanish digital users. Participants are adult internet users who have consumed news in the last month and are representative of the online population in terms of socio-demographic and geographic criteria. The results show that Spanish users whose main sources of information are traditional media tend to value the fulfilment of journalistic roles (disseminating information, interpreting it, and monitoring power) and trust the news more than those who get their information from digital sources. However, these digitalists attach more importance to journalism than traditionalists (70.6% consider it extremely or very important compared to 59% of those who get their information from traditional media). Part of the distrust expressed by digital users is due to the degree to which it fulfils the functions traditionally attributed to journalism. As they feel that they are less well fulfilled, digital journalists have less confidence in a task that they consider important. Finally, Spaniards believe that the media should report with plurality (76%), neutrality (70%) and fairness (62%), although there are no clear patterns between the two types of users.