Both young and old Norwegians struggle to distinguish news from advertising, survey shows

Mari VelsandPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

According to a survey by the Norwegian Media Authority, the youngest and oldest people in Norwegian society struggle the most to distinguish between news, advertising, and public information online.

“The results show that it can be demanding to orientate oneself in the flood of digital information and that it is important to work with clear labeling and identification of different types of content,” director Mari Velsand of the Norwegian Media Authority stated in a press release.

“Everyone benefits from the fact that the reader is informed about the source of information,” she said.

In the recent survey, four out of ten people answered that they had mistaken advertising for a news item. More than 2,000 Norwegians aged 16 to 102 participated in the survey.

Survey results

In the survey, the respondents had to take a position on the source in six news articles. Four out of ten answered all the questions correctly, while the oldest and youngest struggled the most to answer the correct source. 

In the age group 16–24, only one in three answered all the questions correctly. The same applied to the age group 60–79 years, while for those over 80 years, only 18% answered all the questions correctly.

“Not understanding the difference between commercial, editorial, and public information can lead people to make decisions based on wrong premises. A commercial business, for example, has a different agenda than the public sector,” Velsand said.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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