A global survey has found that Filipinos are among the most trusting consumers of mainstream media – despite government hostility towards the press.
Research by the US-based Pew Research Center (PRC) examined public attitudes to news media across 38 countries.
According to its findings, the Philippines ranked second as a country where “news media are doing very/somewhat well at reporting accurately”. Apparently, 86 per cent of Filipinos believe this to be the case.
The survey involved face-to-face interviews with 1,000 Filipino adults. It also found that more than half (52 per cent) agreed that biased news was not acceptable.
The study concluded that public satisfaction with mainstream media was closely aligned to overall trust in government.
As an example, it highlighted how satisfaction was highest in some African nations, where government satisfaction was also high, while satisfaction was lowest in Latin America, reflecting a widespread view of government.
This rings true for the Philippines as well. A survey by local research institution Social Weather Stations released last month revealed that most Filipinos remained optimistic about the country’s economic future.
But despite the average Filipino’s trust in news media, many news outlets are nonetheless criticised for spreading biased content.
President Duterte has frequently been an outspoken critic of the media, particularly in the way it covers his controversial war on drugs and alleged extra-judicial killings.
Earlier today, we reported that the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission had revoked Rappler’s Certificate of Incorporation, accusing it of violating constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership.
The decision comes after he claimed in his State of the Nation Address last July that the online news outlet was fully owned by Americans.
Following the action against Rappler, which the organisation has vowed to fight, concerns have been expressed that while the average Filipino may trust and cherish the nation’s news media, the president most certainly does not.