Nationwide Survey Shows 68% of People Trust Traditional Mass Media in Japan

The percentage of people in the nation who said that they trust mass media, such as newspapers and television, is 68%, according to a survey conducted by SmartNews Media Research Institute.

The institute released the results of its survey of national mass media on Friday, analyzing the situation in Japan over the division of society caused by differences in political positions and other factors.

There was almost no difference between the conservative and liberal groups among those who said they trust mass media in Japan, according to the survey. This highlighted a difference from the United States, where levels of trust in mass media vary greatly by political party.

The nationwide survey was conducted by mail in March, among 4,460 men and women aged 18-79, with 1,901 respondents, for a response rate of 43%.

When asked whether they trust mass media in terms of covering the news adequately, accurately and fairly, 69% of conservatives, 67% of liberals and 70% of those in the middle said they trust the media.

In the United States, 70% of Democratic supporters said they trusted the media in response to a similar question, while only 14% of Republican supporters said the same, according to a poll conducted in September 2022 by Gallup, a U.S. public opinion research firm.

“The decline in the quality of media coverage in Japan is less conspicuous compared to the United States. The results also showed that the public, the recipients of information, are not as divided in their political positions as in the United States,” said Prof. Tetsuro Kobayashi of Waseda University who specializes in social psychology. “These factors were reflected in the results.”