Pollster: Hunger for information during emergency situation has been replaced by fatigue

  • 2020-04-16
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonians are following news about the emergency situation and the coronavirus outbreak less than before, while the number of people who do not trust or do not follow the media at all has also increased, it appears from the weekly emergency situation monitoring data of pollster Kantar Emor this week.

People of Estonia trust the public ETV television, the news portal of public broadcaster ERR and, of private publications, the daily Postimees the most. However, the news portal Delfi has the largest audience.

Kantar Emor strategy consultant Kristiina Kruuse said that the results indicate some fatigue resulting from the information field of the emergency situation. "Only a month ago, over 40 percent of Estonian residents claimed they were constantly following news concerning the emergency situation and the coronavirus outbreak. In this week's survey, slightly less than a third said they are constantly following news covering the emergency situation," she said.

According to Kruuse, the result is as expected. "When the emergency situation had just been declared, there was understandably a great hunger for information. Now, a month later, the emergency situation is, in a new way, a temporary normality, and people no longer feel such a great need to be up to date with news concerning the emergency situation, instead wanting to 'disconnect from the coronavirus' from time to time," she added.

Kruuse said that the share of people who have not followed the media at all for two weeks has increased slightly -- these people make up 3 percent of the Estonian population. There has also been an increase in the general distrust of the media -- in the early weeks of the emergency situation, there were around 8 percent of people who said they did not trust the media at all. In the monitoring this week, almost 15 percent of the Estonian population said that they did not trust the media at all.

"In the emergency situation, people are consuming more different media than usual, including social media and other sources. However, this means that more dubious news and fake news will reach their information field, which will increase people's distrust of the media," Kruuse said.

ETV was mentioned among the most trusted media channels by an average of 45 percent of residents of Estonia, according to the results of four weeks of monitoring. The most reliable private publication is the daily Postimees, which has a small lead over its competitors, and is trusted by an average of 22 percent of Estonians on the basis of the four weeks. However, Delfi has the largest audience and was followed by 66 percent of the Estonian population last week.

Since March 23, Kantar Emor's emergency situation radar has been monitoring the information field and attitudes of Estonian residents in the emergency situation on a weekly basis. In this week's monitoring, 560 people were interviewed. Across the four monitoring weeks, a total of 2,452 Estonian residents have been interviewed.