Doubts grow over credibility of news magazines: survey

Satisfaction with newspapers also slips among Hong Kong residents

People's dissatisfaction with news magazines climbed to 42 per cent last month, according to the latest poll by the University of Hong Kong.

The poor impression of magazines came as satisfaction with newspapers also slipped.

The University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme surveyed 1,015 people from April 18 to 21. The poll is done twice a year.

Robert Chung Ting-yiu, programme director, said people's appraisal of the news media in general dropped to 49 per cent over the past six months, mainly due to growing dissatisfaction with the print media.

'Over the last six months, people's satisfaction with newspapers dropped by 7 percentage points, while their dissatisfaction with news magazines climbed to 42 per cent, which is a record high since this survey series started in 1993,' Dr Chung said.

Satisfaction with newspapers was down to 31 per cent, while satisfaction with television increased by two points to 73 per cent.

'Exactly how our news magazines can improve themselves to gain credibility has become a very pressing problem,' Dr Chung said.

The survey also showed that television and newspapers continue to be people's main sources of news, followed by radio and then the internet.

Thirty-five per cent said television was their main source of news, while 32 per cent preferred newspapers. This was a 2 per cent increase for both formats from the last survey in October last year. But more than half of those surveyed found television three times more trustworthy as a source of news than newspapers and magazines. Fifty-five per cent said television was the most trustworthy source of news, the same level as the October survey.

Sixteen per cent trusted newspapers the most, up by 1 per cent from the last survey. The figure was 14 per cent for radio and 3 per cent for the internet.

Less than 1 per cent found news magazines the most trustworthy. On people's appraisal of various news channels, 62 per cent were satisfied with the radio, up 2 per cent. 'Comparatively speaking, people's satisfaction with the printed media was lower, as the respective satisfaction rates for newspapers and magazines were 31 per cent and 8 per cent only,' the Public Opinion Programme said.

Overall, the latest satisfaction rate with the different media in general was 49 per cent - down three points from the last survey.

Media watch

Most trustworthy source of information

Television 55 per cent

Newspapers 16 per cent

Radio 14 per cent

Internet 3 per cent

Magazines less than

1 per cent

Source: HKU survey