French Confidence in Mainstream Media at Lowest Ever Recorded

A resident of Bourgtheroulde-Infreville reads on January 14, 2019 a newspaper whose front page reads 'The President's Letter' (referring to 'the Letter to the French People' (Lettre aux Francais) written by French President Emmanuel Macron) in a bar in Bourgtheroulde-Infreville, northwestern France, ahead of the start of a two-month national …

The French people have the least confidence in the mainstream media than they had since 1987, when polling on the subject began.

The poll of 1,000 people, which was conducted by the Kantar Sofres Institute, shows that while 67 percent of French follow the news, up from 62 percent last year, fewer trust the mainstream outlets, broadcaster BFMTV reports.

Print media saw the highest level of confidence with 44 percent of the respondents having a positive view of it, down eight points from the previous year.

Television, which as listed as the most preferred source of news by the respondents, saw only 38 percent say they had confidence in the reporting of television news broadcasters compared to 48 percent in 2018.

The internet came up as the least trusted form of news media, 25 percent, and is around the same level as it was in 2005, the year of the weeks-long riots in the Paris suburbs.

The Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement has provoked a spike in interest in news consumption, according to the data. But few are satisfied with the mainstream media coverage of the protests, with only around a third saying it was satisfactory and close to half judging it as being bad.

A majority, 67 percent, say the media has “dramatised” events during the weekly Yellow Vest protests, while just over half say they are not thrilled about the media giving platforms to those they see as having extremist views.

The downward spiral of confidence in the mainstream media follows the same trend for French President Emmanuel Macron who has seen his popularity plummet to only 23 percent in December.

By contrast, support for the Yellow Vests has gained in recent weeks with a poll revealing that 67 percent of French support the anti-Macron movement, up seven percent from previous polling.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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