Newspapers trusted over internet for politics

Printed media is the most trustworthy source of politics news for three times as many readers as online news sites, new research has found.

Conventional outlets like newspapers and magazines are the primary source of information for an overwhelming 72 per cent of people, while only around 32 per cent cited media websites as their top destination.

But the Nucleus survey of 383 individuals, which was conducted online, also showed that whilst most people got their politics news from newspapers and magazines, fewer of them actually trust those sources.

Some 56 per cent of respondents said they trusted printed media most, while around 18 per cent put their faith in media websites.

Emerging media fared worse. Just 15 per cent of people said weblogs were their primary source of political news, with only 10 per cent believing the blogosphere to be trustworthy.

Social media sites like MySpace and YouTube were the top destination for only three per cent of people, with around the same degree of trust in those platforms.

Nucleus vice-president Rebecca Wetteman said the findings show online media, in the run-up to America’s 2008 Presidential election, were “much ado about nothing”.

Of the candidates vying for election in that race, survey respondents said Hillary Clinton has made the most effective use of the internet to communicate her message. In recent months, the New York senator has started her own Drudge Report-like online news service and scored a YouTube hit with a parody of The Sopranos.

Democratic rival Barack Obama had previously made early ground with social networking sites, becoming popular at destinations like Facebook and MySpace.

“The bottom-line question is: are Barack Obama’s 97,954 Facebook ‘friends’ going to help him secure the swing vote and defeat Hillary Clinton? We believe absolutely not,” said Nucleus analyst Cheryl Gutowski.