The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) is Finland’s most-trusted media, and trust in the mainstream media in general has increased since last year, according to a new survey conducted for Yle by Taloustutkimus.
Some 92 percent of those interviewed said they trusted public broadcaster Yle—a higher percentage than for any other media outlet and a four percentage point jump from last year. After Yle came the news agency STT (80 percent), local newspapers (74 percent), the daily Helsingin Sanomat (72 percent) and commercial broadcaster MTV (69 percent).
Both STT and other newspapers had an increased score compared to last year, but Helsingin Sanomat showed the biggest improvement with an eight percentage-point leap in its score.
Strong showing for TV news
Although online media and mobile devices are now more important than ever, Yle’s TV news broadcasts remain an important news source for 39 percent of those questioned. Next came MTV’s television news (with 12 percent saying it was an important news source), Yle’s radio broadcasts (7 percent) and Ilta-Sanomat’s online offering (6 percent).
Yle’s editor-in-chief Atte Jääskeläinen said that he was surprised by the strong position of traditional television news, but there were explanations.
"There is a lot of international news, and unsettling domestic news too," said Jääskeläinen. "In times like these people have gathered around the TV to follow the news that puts things in context."
Even among the under-45s, the survey found television to be a more important news source than online rivals, although by a smaller margin than among older cohorts.
IS strong online
The survey found that around 22 percent of people in Finland don’t follow online news regularly. The computer is most common device used for online news consumption, but mobile devices are gaining popularity.
Among online news consumers, the survey found Ilta-Sanomat was the most popular service. Both Jääskeläinen and Ilta-Sanomat editor-in-chief Tapio Sadeoja said that providing reliable information is the core of their work.
"Our most important job now and in the future is to shoot down rumours, misleading information, or deliberate hoaxes, and report instead the facts," said Sadeoja.
Taloustutkimus runs the “Uutisarvostukset” survey each year. This year the company interviewed 1,024 people for the research.