Forty-nine percent of the Turkish public thinks they are exposed to fake news, with Turkey heading a list of countries whose citizens claim they were exposed to completely made-up news in the last week, according to a Reuters Institute and University of Oxford report published on Wednesday.
“Digital News Report 2018” shows that 59 percent of people with left-leaning views think they are exposed to “completely made-up” news, while that figure is 49 percent for people with centrist views and 48 percent for those leaning to the right.
Sixty-five percent of Turks also think they risk problems with the authorities when they openly express their political views online, putting Turkey at the top of the list.
Turkey’s Fox TV is seen as the most trustworthy media outlet with 6.59 points, where 0 is “not at all trustworthy” and 10 is “completely trustworthy,” followed by NTV with 6.37, CNN Türk with 6.32 and Cumhuriyet with 6.05 points.
Pro-government media outlets Ahaber, rated at 4.6, and Sabah with 4.74 are ranked at the bottom of the list.
“Public broadcaster TRT and the official Anatolian News Agency (AA) also have lower trust scores,” the report says.
Overall 38 percent of the Turkish public trusts “most news” while 40 percent does not. Only 43 percent of the public trusts the “media they use.”
Among social media applications some 51 percent of Turks prefer Facebook for news, while 41 percent say YouTube, 35 percent Twitter, 30 percent WhatsApp, and 24 percent say Instagram.
“As for the use of social networks and messaging apps for news, almost all of them are used far more in Turkey than the average of all countries. The difference is particularly pronounced in the use of WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for news,” the report says.
In its conclusion, the report points to the sale of the Doğan Media Group to a pro-government businessman in 2018 as “one of the critical developments in Turkish media in the past decade.”
“The role of digital-born news media is still not particularly strong and the websites or mobile applications of televisions and newspapers occupy the top places in the online brand list,” the report concludes.