IBERIFIER Reports — The Impact of Disinformation on the Media Industry in Spain and Portugal


This IBERIFIER Report explores of the dynamics and effects of disinformation on the media industry in Spain and Portugal. Drawing on an online survey to the population in both countries and in-depth interviews with media executives performed over the spring and summer of 2022, this report provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities that disinformation poses for journalists, media organizations, and the public.


SUMMARY of the REPORT

Disinformation, the deliberate spread of false or misleading information, has become an increasingly pressing issue in today’s society. The media industry, which plays a critical role in providing reliable and accurate information to the public, has been significantly impacted by the rise of disinformation. This IBERIFIER Report provides an analysis of the effects of disinformation on the media industry and the challenges it poses for journalists, media organizations, and the public. It highlights the erosion of public trust in the media, the need for journalists to verify information more rigorously, and the creation of a market for sensationalist and biased news.

The researchers from IBERIFIER surveyed the Spanish and Portuguese population to analyze their response to disinformation and misinformation, their trust in media outlets, and their perception of media verification procedures. Data shows that both countries had high trust in health institutions, and both achieved high rates of complete vaccination among all population groups, especially the elderly and most vulnerable. Respondents from both countries trusted researchers, scientists, and experts the most, followed by journalists and doctors. However, respondents in Spain were skeptical about media paywalls and whether they prevented the dissemination of fake news. In Portugal, respondents showed a higher concern for disinformation in politics than among family members, colleagues, or friends. The survey analysis in Spain showed that gender influenced the loss of trust in media outlets that publish fake news, while the degree of trust in the media depended on the political party they voted for in the last elections. Media editors in both countries confirmed the importance of verification procedures, although there were differences in their approach.

The report also suggests several solutions to combat disinformation, such as investing in media literacy programs, regulating online sources of disinformation, and promoting transparency and accuracy in reporting. By reading the report, policymakers, media organizations, and the general public can gain a better understanding of the effects of disinformation on the media industry in Spain and Portugal and the steps that can be taken to address this growing problem.


REFERENCE

Moreno-Castro, C., Paisana, M. et al. (2022). The Impact of Disinformation on the Media Industry in Spains and Portugal. Pamplona: IBERIFIER. https://doi.org/10.5581/026.001

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