Two thirds of the UK public ‘‘appreciate and value journalism more’’ following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Newsworks’ ‘World Without News’ survey.
Despite the surge in fake news and attacks on free speech, 66% of people surveyed said their appreciation for journalism has increased in recent months.
Some 70% of respondents said that a world without journalism would harm democracy, with 77% of under 35-year-olds notably valuing journalism more since the beginning of the pandemic.
Jo Allan, managing director at Newsworks, said: ‘‘This research clearly shows the importance of trusted news and information.
‘‘Journalism matters to increasingly large numbers of people who are relying on news brands more than ever, especially amid the coronavirus pandemic.’’
She added: ‘‘This is our biggest study to date and what has emerged is the essential and growing role news plays in bringing us together, providing us with different perspectives and helping us to understand what is happening in the world around us.’’
Ian Murray, executive director of the Society of Editors said: ‘‘It was always understood that the public supported a free press and recognised the need for the mainstream media with its ability to provide well researched, balanced, correctly edited news content and the proof has been provided by the numbers in which people have turned to trusted journalism for news and information during this pandemic.
‘‘The figures supported by this research underscore the public’s understanding of the value of the news content that the press provides in the UK.’’