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In France, confidence in the media is improving but remains far from being achieved

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In the midst of the Covid-19 health crisis, the media rating is rising slightly in France. The French are however critical of the media treatment of the pandemic, according to the annual barometer carried out by Kantar for the daily La Croix.

The confidence of the French in the media has increased slightly, but opinion is very divided on the media treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the annual barometer carried out by Kantar for the daily La Croix, published Wednesday, January 27.

First lesson of this survey launched in 1987 and whose new version was carried out from January 7 to 11, the interest of the French for the news rebounded from 8 points to 67%, after having fallen last year to a level historically low.

>> See also: Media coverage of Covid-19: the French lack certainty

The credibility of the media is recovering slightly for the second year in a row, after having hit an absolute low in the midst of the yellow vests crisis, even if it remains at very low levels.

Radio still comes out on top: 52% of French people, 2 points more than last year, believe that it broadcasts news faithful to reality, ahead of newspapers (+2 points to 48%) and television ( +2 points at 42%). Finally, the credibility of the internet (measured since 2005) has improved more clearly but still remains very low (+5 points to 28%).

“A moderate return of confidence”

“We see a moderate return of the confidence granted by the French to the media”, summed up during a press conference Guillaume Caline, from Kantar, for whom this timid improvement is undoubtedly the reflection of the information work around the pandemic.

“During this whole period, there was no break (in media activity), journalists continued to do their job and to inform, which is essential for the functioning of a democracy”, commented Pascal Ruffenach, Chairman of the Management Board of the Bayard group, the parent company of La Croix.

However, when asked about the treatment of the Covid-19 epidemic in the media, the French are extremely divided: 44% positive opinions against 43% negative opinions.

>> To read also: For the French, “the information does not reflect their reality”

Among the main complaints: having given too much importance to non-specialists (for 73% of respondents) and dramatized the events (66%). In addition, 74% of French people believe that the media have talked too much about Covid-19.

Nine out of ten French people, on the other hand, think they have been well informed about barrier gestures and wearing a mask, and more than three in four concerning the rules of confinement and deconfinement.

“This survey shows that the media have made a real quality info-service” during this health crisis, acclaimed by the public, said media sociologist Arnaud Mercier.

Choice of guests that are not unanimous

But for him “there is a failure of part of the media in the choice of people who have been invited” on television, citing the example of Laurent Toubiana, one of the personalities who assured that there would be no second wave and who “had the table open for days” on the sets, until this second wave materialized.

Another pitfall according to him, the issue of hydroxychloroquine: “A number of media have fallen into a trap, with confusion between factual disagreements between scientists” and “a controversy of a political nature”.

“We are not here to be for or against chloroquine”, defended Adeline François, co-presenter of the morning of BFMTV. “Our job as a journalist was not to be virologists”, but to find specialists and “to ask them the necessary questions and to relay the concerns of the French”, and this when no one had from firm knowledge about the coronavirus.

Estelle Cognacq, editorial director of FranceInfo, for her part noted a certain “ambiguity” of the public: “The French find that we have talked too much about the Covid, but these are the subjects that are working best today. there is always a demand to know where we are on the subject of vaccines “, variants, new containment, etc.

And whatever the subject discussed, from the economy to the theater via gastronomy, anyway, “we always fall back on the Covid”, said his colleague from BFMTV.

With AFP

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