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France: 41 percent ‘ignore’ news

A survey carried out for a newspaper shows a growing distrust of the French towards the media.

Published: January 17, 2020, 5:45 am

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    The mysterious Dupont de Ligonnès murders in France, the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame or the Yellow Vests… Many more subjects are being “over-treated” by the media to such an extent that the French are no longer interested in the news.

    A survey carried out by Kantar for the  Catholic newspaper La Croix showed that French interest in information has reached its lowest level since the launch in 1987 of the barometer of confidence in the media.

    In fact, four out of ten French people say they are no longer interested in information, an increase of eight points in one year. Worse still, 28 percent are “slightly disinterested” and 13 percent “very disinterested”.

    “This drop in interest observed over the past five years is reinforced by a news focused since the start of the school year on pensions. The French have difficulty in defining the contours of this reform despite it arousing a mobilization and receiving a very traditional journalistic treatment,” Guillaume Caline, who piloted the investigation for Kantar, explained to La Croix.

    Among those who are least interested: young people (1 in 2), women (53 percent) and the least educated (54 percent).

    On the other hand, confidence increased somewhat towards the traditional media, such as the newspapers, and the medium that retained the greatest confidence according to the French, was the radio (50 percent).

    But there is, on the other hand, a growing lack of trust in the internet, which is recognized as reliable only by 23 percent of the French. Above all, they believe that the media “do not report their concerns” and that on the internet, for example, journalists are not independent of political and financial powers.

    The Internet for them is often a source of fake news: Some 59 percent believe they have spotted fake reports.

    Overall, the whole media system in the country is being called into question. La Croix revealed that a major citizen consultation is underway entitled “Media & Citizens”.

    The French regret “a lack of diversity” and too much “Parisianism” in the media. But there are not yet solutions found to all these “evils”. For the respondents, journalists (38 percent) and control bodies (36 percent) have the answers in hand, according to them.

    The younger generation is even more pessimistic. Within generation Y, a majority of 20-35 year-olds fear a nuclear attack within 10 years and predict that a third world war will break out during their existence.

    They find it hard to be optimistic about the future of the world. Greatly concerned about climate change and its consequences, there are also many, in this period of high tension in the Middle East, who fear war.

    As Franceinfo reported, citing a study carried out on some 16 000 “millennials” from 16 different countries – some of whom are at war – 54 percent of those polled are convinced that a nuclear attack will take place in the decade to come is open.

    The study, commissioned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), questions these young adults, born between 1980 and the late 1990s, on their point of view vis-à-vis ongoing conflicts and the international humanitarian law.

    Thus, despite this apparent pessimism, 84 percent of those questioned consider the use of nuclear weapons unacceptable, and 54 percent believe that they should be banned.

    It is an important survey, according to the president of the ICRC, questioned by Franceinfo, according to which “for the members of generation Y, the risk that a devastating war will take place during their lifetime is real”.

    Also, “it is alarming to note that almost half of the people questioned think that a third world war will break out during their existence”, he reported.

    Dark omens that are accompanied by “disturbing trends, which reflect a lack of respect for the fundamental human values ​​enshrined in international law,” noted the ICRC. Some 37 percent of respondents consider that torture is acceptable in certain circumstances, despite the explanations given in the United Nations Convention.

    And 15 percent of those polled also believe that combatants should use all means to achieve their objectives, even if it means causing many civilian casualties.

    The ICRC however considers it, for example, “encouraging” to see that almost three quarters of “millennials” think that wars are avoidable (74 percent) and that it is necessary to impose limits on the methods and means of warfare (75 percent).

    Finally, we observe that young adults living in war-affected countries are more optimistic than 20-35 year olds who have not experienced any armed conflict. They are thus 46 percent who think that there will be less war in the future, against 30 percent of the “millenials” currently spared conflict situations.

    At the top of the hope ranking, we find young people from Ukraine and Syria, 69 percent and 60 percent respectively, convinced that the war in their country will end within five years.

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