U.S. consumers believe print media is a safer, more secure and more trusted medium than its digital counterpart in virtually every way, according to a consumer survey commissioned by graphic communications non-profit Two Sides.
Two Sides’ findings suggest that not only has trust in digital media waned in response to a deluge of recent hoax and misleading news items shared over the Internet, but this worrying trend has transcended news and applies to safety concerns regarding how consumers’ private information is stored in the digital realm.
More than half of the survey’s respondents — 56 percent — said they trust the news items they read in printed newspapers, while barely more than a third — 34 percent — said they trust the news they read on social media.
Nearly three-quarters — 74 percent — said they consider the fake news phenomenon to be a worrying trend, and 64 percent said they’d be very worried if printed newspapers were to disappear.
Respondents also appeared to express trepidation regarding the threat of data breaches and how much of their important personal data is stored today, and as a result, generally prefer having a printed copy of personal information — be it be a receipt or a health or financial record — as opposed to their digital counterpart.
More than three-quarters — 78 percent — said they believe keeping hard copies of important documents at home is the safest and most secure way of storing their information. A similar number — 76 percent — are increasingly concerned that personal information maintained in the digital realm is at risk of being hacked, stolen, lost or damaged.
The survey, which broke down responses by age groups, found that those between the ages of 18 and 24 exhibited similar levels of trust in print media with older generations and even higher levels of concern regarding fake news, but were less inclined to keep hard copies of important documents, and were also less concerned about their digital information being hacked.
Research for Two Sides’ international survey, “Print and Paper in a Digital World,” was conducted by marketing research firm Toluna and polled more than 10,700 consumers in June.