ECM 2018 Finds Government, Public Sector and Political Organisations Most Affected by Fake News

By Frank Condon, Development & Research Manager

“What stands out most of all from this year’s Monitor is the rising importance of building and maintaining trust by 39.5 per cent of all the respondents. The fact that fake news and propaganda have become more important and traditional mass media is losing ground makes public communication in general – and the communication sector specifically – more competitive than ever before.” Professor Ansgar Zerfass, lead researcher.

  • Communications professionals are fully aware of ‘fake news’ and how it influences public debates and levels of trust, however only a quarter experience its daily relevance.
  • Government-owned, public sector and political organisations across Europe are particularly affected by fake news;  though in Ireland a comparatively small 18.6% surveyed believed that the Irish public sphere was influenced by fake news. (Only in Switzerland, Denmark and Norway did less respondnets believe their public spheres to be affected by fake news.)
  • With 32% reporting stress problems in Ireland this exceeds the European average of a more than one quarter of European communication professionals reporting serious stress problems.
  • Three quarters of comms professionals in Europe are satisfied with their job, but analysis over time shows a slow decrease.
Results of the largest survey of the communications profession and trends in strategic communication the European Communication Monitor were published last week. The report is based on almost 3,100 respondents from 48 European countries. Dr John Gallagher, FPRII (Life) of DIT is a member of the multinational research team.

Mistrust in times of fake news and a volatile environment
Despite the persisting debate about fake news across Europe (agreed upon by 55.8 per cent of the respondents), only 24.4% of communication practitioners are affected by it day to day.

Nearly 35% of Irish communicators reported that fake news had an impact on their organisations.



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