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Indian readers place higher credibility to newspapers, survey finds 

Print content remains king in India even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, although digital has emerged as an important content consumption platform-both for television and print, according to the latest survey polling agency CVoter.

Indian readers place higher credibility to newspapers, survey finds

The CVoter Media Consumption Survey 2020 asked 5,000 respondents about their media consumption habits, and revealed some interesting viewpoints. In particular, the survey found that "Indian readers derive the most value out of reportage in Print media even on topics, which are conventionally considered to be the domain of electronic media."

Print still 'the most credible medium'

Over 75% of the respondents said they prefer to read the newspaper for its reporting of the news and current affairs compared to watching a "shouting TV news debate."

Interestingly, 71.2% of the survey respondents said they have a favourite section in the newspaper that they read first everyday, while 64.9% said they find information in newspaper ads more useful.

The survey also found that 52% of the respondents still like to read about the India Premier League (IPL) in newspapers-even after watching the live matches.

Meanwhile, news content on television is perceived by media watchers as a "superficial and trite medium" given a television network's propensity for getting into controversies such as manipulated viewership numbers, sensationalism, frenzied debates and even biased reporting, according to the survey. Recently, TV news channels came under fire for the media coverage of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, resulting in public interest litigation (PIL) that called for restraint on media coverage of high-profile cases.

Reading newspapers more important in times of COVID-19

Some 63.2% of the CVoter survey respondents agree that reading newspapers has become more important as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Print content remains to be the most credible source for information such as the updated tally of coronavirus cases not just in India, but across the globe, as well as the Health Ministry's latest guidelines for international arrivals, among other updates.

Digital, on the other hand, has emerged as an important extension of traditional media with more and more newspapers launching digital editions on the internet. With the COVID-19 lockdowns resulting in most people being literally left to their own devices, many have started engaging with technology in different new ways and reading habits have shifted to online-from checking out the latest news and current events to learning a new skill and finding a new hobby, or even how to play teen patti online, as well as other games online at 10Cric.com

As the CVoter survey results analysis points out, "Print and Digital offer an ideal combination of reach with credibility."

"We now live in a world where a wealth of information is at our fingertips, but the tactile and sensory experience that Print media offers can't be beaten. This combined model of conventional news vehicles and digital media must be looked at from a displacement angle rather than replacement. While Indian readers prefer to get breaking news updates and instant analysis on digital platforms, they still love Print reading for opinions, analysis, long-form narratives and infographics," the survey concluded.

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