Report: Two-thirds of Czechs distrust news media, Russia-backed sources a factor

Only 31 per cent of Czech citizens trust the news media, according to a new report by the Reuters Institute for Journalism Studies at Oxford University, based on a YouGov survey of over 74,000 online news consumers in 37 countries.

The Digital News Report cites rising political polarisation and the spread of ‘fake news’ and disinformation online as major factors contributing to the low level of trust among Czechs. It further noted growing concern over sites linked to Russian-based sources or funders promoting an anti-EU agenda.

The report found that Czechs also believe there is less editorial autonomy among mainstream news media, most of which are controlled by oligarchs, such as Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, and powerful business groups.

The five most trusted media are public broadcaster ČT24 and the Czech Radio station Radiožurnál, followed by business daily Hospodářské noviny, and commercial sites Seznam.cz and Aktualne.cz.