Kristine L Ming

Poll: A majority of Israelis prefer to receive news updates via Internet

Israelis prefer to learn about current news events via the internet, according to a survey released this week ahead of the 2014 DIGIT conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC) Sammy Ofer School of Communications.

According to the results, 27 percent of respondents said they prefer to receive news updates from the Internet, compared to 22% via television, 21% by daily print newspapers, and 19% by radio.

Interestingly, this marked a 7% increase of those reading daily newspapers and a 7% decrease in watching the news via TV when compared to 2013.

However, in the event of a major security incident 38% of respondents said they would turn to television news for updates, with only 28% turning to the Internet and 26 percent to radio, marking a 14 percent increase from last year for people who would tune into the radio.

When breaking the results down by age group, it became evident that the younger respondents, 30 percent, preferred internet news sites, compared to 16 percent of respondents aged 44 and older. In contrast of the respondents aged 44 and older, 37% preferred television news compared to 22% of younger respondents.

The study also showed that a vast majority, 80% of people surveyed did not view video news reports on internet news sites, a twenty percent decrease from 2013.

Also a majority of respondents, 62%, believe that news updates on Facebook are not trustworthy compared to 38% who believe they are credible.

A little over a third of respondents, 36%, believe that all news outlets are equally credible, while 13% believe none are to be believed. The additional respondents rated the credibility of news outlets as follows: 27% said television news was most credible, 15% said radio, 8% said Internet, and only 15 said daily print newspapers were most credible.

Regarding reporters, 37% of people surveyed said all reporters were equally “serious and professional,” while seven percent said no reporters are “serious or professional enough.”  The additional respondents believed that 26% of television news correspondents are most serious and professional compared to 17% of daily print newspaper reporters, 11% of radio reporters, and 2% of internet reporters.

“More and more Israelis are catching up on news content via digital platforms. However, anyone who holds online journalism as dear should be concerned about the low confidence given by consumers of news to the news reports they read on the net. You will find excellent and committed journalists on Israeli news sites who do not deserve the professional image revealed in the poll,” said Roy Katz, founder and producer of the DIGIT conference and VP of Content at Radio Tel Aviv 102FM.

The survey was conducted throughout the month of January 2014 and included 584 people, aged 16 and up interviewed by telephone, with a 4.5% point margin of error. Of those interviewed half were men and half women with an average age of 41.37% living in the Center, 19% living in the South, 21% living in the North, 11% living in the Sharon region and 12% living in Jerusalem. The poll was conducted by Maagar Mochot research institute managed by Prof. Yitzhak Katz, Prof. Baruch Mevorach, and Dr. Amir Horkin.

The third annual DIGIT conference to be held March 10, is the only press conference dealing exclusively with online media. The conference will focus on the major issues that concern the digital media in Israel and abroad and will include media master classes by senior industry executives such as journalists, editors, designers and programmers, panel discussions and lectures.

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