Newspapers here top survey in media satisfaction

A reader looking at the revamped version of The Straits Times in July 2015 which includes a brand-new layout, typeface and expanded content.
A reader looking at the revamped version of The Straits Times in July 2015 which includes a brand-new layout, typeface and expanded content.PHOTO: ST FILE

Satisfaction with mainstream media services here has been rising slowly over the last two years.

However, it is newspapers that stole a march over their digital rivals, showing the largest rise in content quality.

The latest annual media con- sumer experience study from the Media Development Authority (MDA) shows that satisfaction with media services was 76.6 per cent last year, up from 2014's 75.7 per cent and 76.1 in 2013.

The MDA highlighted how respondents generally reported an improvement in the quality and variety of media content.

When it came to the quality of content, the ranking of newspapers jumped from sixth to first.

About 78.9 per cent of the res- pondents were satisfied with newspaper content - an increase of 4.1 percentage points from 2014.

Newspapers edged out websites, radio and free-to-air TV.

Former Nominated MP Calvin Cheng pointed out that the top three choices for consumers - newspapers, websites and apps - are all "on-demand options", unlike scheduled news programmes.

He also said that the results are contrary to what some might think, that "people are cynical of and distrusting of media in Singapore. And that quality is going down".

Pointing out that some websites produce content more for entertainment than for news value, he added: "I believe most people still know that only mainstream media provides accurate, factual news."

Over the last few months, the husband-and-wife founders of now-defunct website The Real Singapore were jailed for making seditious remarks on the site. Sociopolitical website TR Emeritus last month also apologised for an online report claiming that the medical expenses of Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who is recovering from a stroke, are being paid by taxpayers, a claim the Government called "a blatant lie".

Some 2,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents - aged between 15 and 65 - were surveyed between last October and December.

The MDA also released two other consumer studies on Thursday. They show that streaming movies and shows over the Internet has become a norm, with the highest viewership among people aged 15 to 34. For those under 15, watching Mediacorp channels remains the top media activity.

Danson Cheong

When it came to the quality of content, the ranking of newspapers jumped from sixth to first, a "reversal of the statistically significant drop in satisfaction", the MDA said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 17, 2016, with the headline 'Newspapers here top survey in media satisfaction'. Print Edition | Subscribe