IJR Policy Brief 27: News in the COVID-19 crisis: Where do South Africans get their news, and is it trustworthy?
Findings from the 2019 South African Reconciliation Barometer
Where do South Africans get their news and do they believe it to be trustworthy? This question takes on even greater significance in the context of a national lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19. This policy brief, using insights from the 2019 South African Reconciliation Barometer survey, identifies that television and radio are the only media sources used regularly by a majority of South Africans and these sources are also the most trusted. Print newspapers are only consulted regularly by around a third of respondents, while more South Africans get their news from friends and family. Online news sources – online publications and social media pages – are the least used and least trusted sources of information. Young South Africans make use of a wider variety of media sources than older respondents, who rely heavily on television and radio. Government communication strategies and infomercials should prioritise television and radio broadcasts.