Poll: Swedes' trust in media remains high

4:29 min

Trust in Sweden’s public service media outlets and major broadsheet dailies remains strong, according to a survey by newspaper Dagens Nyheter and polling company Ipsos.

The survey shows that 75 percent of Swedes have very high or fairly high confidence in Swedish Television. The corresponding figure for Swedish Radio is 73 percent. The two Stockholm-based daily newspapers, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, got lower numbers. For Dagens Nyheter, the figure is 50 percent, although that jumps to 64 percent if only answers from Stockholm residents are taken into account.

"This confirms that public service is in a different league in terms of trust," David Ahlin, public affairs manager at Ipsos, told Dagens Nyheter.

Less than one-tenth of respondents said they have low confidence in public service, Dagens Nyheter or Svenska Dagbladet and the survey also found that men are more likely to report that they do not have faith in those news outlets.
Highly educated Swedes are more likely to trust Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, while education played less of a role in the respondents' confidence for public service.

Swedish Radio ranks highest in terms of credibility, slightly edging out Swedish Television with 75 percent to SVT's 74 percent. For credibility, Dagens Nyheter scored 55 percent followed by Svenska Dagbladet, with 48 percent. Daily tabloid Aftonbladet received 23 percent for credibility.

This year’s poll was the first to ask respondents questions about website Avpixlat, which has been widely described as a “hate site”. Critics frequently describe the site as racist, a characterization refuted by the site's editor-in-chief Mats Dagerlind, who says instead the site focuses on immigration policy.

Only 13 percent of respondents reported being fairly familiar or very familiar with Avpixlat. Confidence in the site is low: four percent have very high or fairly high confidence in the site. Only seven percent of respondents are of the opinion that the site gives a true picture of reality.

The poll figures are based on interviews with around 1,000 randomly selected respondents between the ages of 18 and 84.

Lennart Weibull, a professor who studies media credibility at the Society Opinion and Media Institute at Gothenburg University, said the Swedish confidence in its largest media outlets has as much to do with a recognition of the brand than coverage of specific content. And he said high confidence in public institutions generally is translated to confidence in public service media as well as the two large broadsheet dailies.

"There's a very positive attitude to the media," he said.