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Paradox: Better informed thanks to the Internet, but worried about the impact of fake news

The Digimeter figures show that the consumption of news remains stable in Flanders. Traditional media, such as the national TV and radio stations, continue to reach the largest group of Flemings. The smartphone is still in the top 3, but interestingly enough, daily usage of the smartphone to follow the news is declining, especially among 16-24 year olds. Social media are also declining as a news platform

In general, people in Flanders acknowledge the positive aspects of digital news. For example, a clear majority feel better informed thanks to the Internet, although they are not unaware of the challenges that go with online usage. For instance, the negative impact that fake news has on our society is a broadly shared concern.

But, in general, the urge to be correctly informed is on the increase and in times of (concerns about) fake news, people appear to fall back on the traditional news outlets and carriers, viewing them as a beacon of trust. The role of social media and the smartphone as a gateway to the news remains very high, although weakening somewhat.

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Eva Steenberghs