HKU POP releases people’s appraisal of local news mediaBack

 

Press Release on April 17, 2017

| Detailed Findings (People's Appraisal of the Local News Media) |

Special Announcements

1. From July 2017, apart from sampling landline numbers to conduct opinion surveys, the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong has also added mobile numbers to the sampling frame. After three months of testing, in October 2017, POP formalized the use of mixed samples as its standard for regular opinion surveys using a landline and mobile sample ratio of 4 to 1. Starting from April 2018, POP further increased the proportion of mobile sample, which the landline and mobile sample ratio became 2 to 1. The figures released today by POP have already incorporated landline and mobile samples.

2. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP has already released for public examination some time ago via the “HKU POP SITE” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of regular rating surveys of current CE Carrie Lam, former CEs CH Tung, Donald Tsang and CY Leung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

Abstract

POP interviewed 1,003 Hong Kong people between 2 and 4 April, 2018 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey finds that compared to half a year ago, the general credibility rating of the news media didn’t change much and the latest figure is 5.67 marks while people’s net satisfaction with press freedom has decreased by 3 percentage points to positive 12 percentage points. Among various types of news media, television and the internet remain to be people’s main sources of news. In terms of performance satisfaction, people are most satisfied with the performance of the radio, with net satisfaction standing at positive 48 percentage points. Television comes next with net satisfaction standing at positive 28 percentage points. Overall speaking, people’s net satisfaction with the performance of the news media in general now stands at positive 30 percentage points. Besides, more people think the media have given full play to press freedom, but the margin is narrowing, with the net value dropped to positive 3 percentage points, which is a record low again since the survey question was first asked in 1997. At the same time, people also think that the media misused or abused press freedom, its net value stands at positive 27 percentage points. Besides, 25% and 40% consider the media responsible and irresponsible in their reporting respectively. Meanwhile, 56% believe Hong Kong’s news media have practiced self-censorship, another 30% think the opposite, giving a net value of positive 26 percentage points. The majority of people thought the media have scruples when criticizing the Central Government, the net value is positive 45 percentage points which is a record high since 1998. The percentage of those who thought the media have scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government is also higher than those who thought otherwise, and the net value is positive 12 percentage points, which also is a record high since the survey question was first asked in 1997. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is +/-4% at 95% confidence level, while the sampling errors of rating figures and net satisfaction rates need another calculation. The response rate of the survey is 58%.

Points to note:

[1] The address of the “HKU POP SITE” is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.

[2] The sample size of this survey is 1,003 successful interviews, not 1,003 x 57.9% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state “sampling error of rating not more than +/-0.15, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4%, and sampling error of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level”.

[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.

[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses “computerized random telephone survey” to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.


Latest Figures

POP today releases the latest figures of people’s appraisal of local news media. From July 2017, POP enhanced the previous weighting method that has been used for quite a few years. Apart from age, gender and education, economic activity group is now also taken into account when adjusting data. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to figures collected in the 2016 By-census regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population and the 2017 educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution and economic activity status distribution obtained from the Census and Statistics Department. The mobile sample has also been rim-weighted according to the basic Public Sentiment Index (PSI) figures collected in the landline sample. Herewith the contact information for the latest survey:

Date of survey

Effective sample size

Effective response rate

Maximum sampling error of percentages[6]

2-4/4/2018

1,003

57.9%

+/-3%

[6] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sampling error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


Recent figures of people’s appraisal of the overall performance of news media are summarized as follows:

Date of survey

19-22/9/16

10-12/4/17

3-4/10/17

2-4/4/18

Latest change

Sample base[7]

1,012

1,001

1,005

1,003

--

Response rate*

72.4%

72.3%

59.5%

57.9%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding and error[8]

--

Credibility rating of the local news media in general

5.66[10]

5.69

5.77

5.67+/-0.15

-0.1

Freedom of the press in HK: Satisfaction rate [9]

45%

55%[10]

47%[10]

48+/-4%

+1%

Freedom of the press in HK: Dissatisfaction rate [9]

39%[10]

31%[10]

32%

36+/-4%

+4%

Net satisfaction rate

7%

24%[10]

15%[10]

12+/-7%

-3%

Mean value[9]

3.0

(Base=531)

3.3[10]

(Base=649)

3.2

(Base=524)

3.1+/-0.1

(Base=615)

-0.1

Perceived the local news media to be responsible in their reporting[9]

32%

33%

30%

25+/-3%

-5%[10]

Perceived the local news media to be irresponsible in their reporting[9]

35%[10]

36%

40%

40+/-4%

--

Net value

-3%[10]

-3%

-10%

-15+/-6%

-5%

Mean value[9]

2.9

(Base=609)

2.9

(Base=569)

2.8

(Base=499)

2.8+/-0.1

(Base=614)

--

Perceived that the local news media had given full play to the freedom of speech

56%

62%[10]

52%[10]

47+/-4%

-5%[10]

Perceived that the local news media had not given full play to the freedom of speech

35%

28%[10]

42%[10]

44+/-4%

+2%

Net value

21%[10]

34%[10]

10%[10]

3+/-8%

-7%

Perceived that the local news media had misused/abused the freedom of press

52%

61%[10]

56%[10]

58+/-4%

+2%

Perceived that the local news media had not misused/abused the freedom of press

37%[10]

27%[10]

33%[10]

32+/-4%

-1%

Net value

16%

34%[10]

23%[10]

27+/-7%

+4%

Perceived that the local news media had practiced self-censorship

49%

51%

53%

56+/-4%

+3%

Perceived that the local news media had not practiced self-censorship

31%

30%

33%

30+/-4%

-3%

Net value

18%

22%

20%

26+/-7%

+6%

Perceived that the local news media had scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government

49%

44%[10]

51%[10]

53+/-4%

+2%

Perceived that the local news media had no scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government

42%[10]

47%[10]

44%

42+/-4%

-2%

Net value

7%

-4%[10]

7%[10]

12+/-8%

+5%

Perceived that the local news media had scruples when criticizing the Central Government

57%[10]

58%

67%[10]

69+/-4%

+2%

Perceived that the local news media had no scruples when criticizing the Central Government

31%

33%

25%[10]

24+/-3%

-1%

Net value

26%[10]

25%

41%[10]

45+/-7%

+4%

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[7] These questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned, the sample size for each question also varies. The sub-sample sizes of this survey range from 572 to 663, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[8] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of rating not more than +/-0.15 mark, sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% and sampling error of net values not more than +/-8% at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[9] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[10] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.


Results of latest survey showed that, on a scale of 0-10, the latest credibility rating of the Hong Kong news media in general was 5.67 marks. Moreover, 48% of the respondents were satisfied with the freedom of the press in Hong Kong while 36% were dissatisfied, net satisfaction at positive 12 percentage points. The mean value is 3.1, which is close to “half-half”. 25% perceived the local news media to be responsible in their reporting, 40% regarded the local news media as irresponsible, giving a net value of negative 15 percentage points. The mean value is 2.8, meaning in between “half-half” and “quite irresponsible”. 47% believed the local news media had given full play to the freedom of speech, net value at positive 3 percentage points, but at the same time 58% said they had misused or abused the freedom of press, net value at positive 27 percentage points. Besides, 56% of the respondents thought the local news media had practised self-censorship while 30% perceived the contrary, giving a net value of positive 26 percentage points. 53% thought they had scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government, with a net value of positive 12 percentage points. 69% thought they had scruples when criticizing the Central Government, net value at positive 45 percentage points. The results of other questions such as people’s main source of news and their satisfaction on individual news media are shown below:

Date of survey

19-22/9/16

10-12/4/17

3-4/10/17

2-4/4/18

Latest change

Sample base[11]

1,012

1,001

1,005

1,003

--

Response rate*

72.4%

72.3%

59.5%

57.9%

--

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding

Finding
and error[12]

--

People’s main source of news: Television

74%

75%

79%

74+/-3%

-5%[14]

People’s main source of news: Internet

59%[14]

59%

60%

67+/-4%

+7%[14]

People’s main source of news: Newspaper

47%

42%[14]

54%[14]

48+/-4%

-6%[14]

People’s main source of news: Radio

26%[14]

20%[14]

32%[14]

29+/-3%

-3%

People’s main source of news: Friends

14%

11%

17%[14]

19+/-3%

+2%

Perceived that television was the most trustworthy source

33%[14]

42%[14]

38%

32+/-4%

-6%[14]

Perceived that internet was the most trustworthy source

17%[14]

15%

14%

17+/-3%

+3%

Perceived that radio was the most trustworthy source

13%

14%

17%

17+/-3%

--

Perceived that newspaper was the most trustworthy source

15%

17%

15%

14+/-3%

-1%

Perceived that family member was the most trustworthy source

5%

2%[14]

4%

6+/-2%

+2%

Satisfaction rate of radio[13]

51%[14]

56%[14]

54%

61+/-4%

+7%[14]

Dissatisfaction rate of radio[13]

13%[14]

11%

14%

13+/-3%

-1%

Net satisfaction rate

37%[14]

45%[14]

40%

48+/-6%

+8%[14]

Mean value[13]

3.5[14]

(Base=503)

3.6

(Base=479)

3.6

(Base=464)

3.6+/-0.1

(Base=496)

--

Satisfaction rate of television[13]

49%

57%[14]

53%

52+/-4%

-1%

Dissatisfaction rate of television[13]

24%[14]

18%[14]

24%[14]

24+/-3%

--

Net satisfaction rate

26%[14]

40%[14]

29%[14]

28+/-6%

-1%

Mean value[13]

3.3

(Base=538)

3.4

(Base=522)

3.3

(Base=554)

3.3+/-0.1

(Base=676)

--

Satisfaction rate of internet[13]

38%

36%

39%

43+/-4%

+4%

Dissatisfaction rate of internet[13]

18%

22%

20%

21+/-3%

+1%

Net satisfaction rate

20%

14%

19%

22+/-6%

+3%

Mean value[13]

3.3

(Base=431)

3.2

(Base=470)

3.3

(Base=410)

3.3+/-0.1

(Base=552)

--

Satisfaction rate of newspapers[13]

33%

37%

38%

39+/-4%

+1%

Dissatisfaction rate of newspapers[13]

29%[14]

29%

27%

30+/-4%

+3%

Net satisfaction rate

4%[14]

8%

11%

9+/-7%

-2%

Mean value[13]

3.0[14]

(Base=513)

3.1

(Base=491)

3.1

(Base=490)

3.0+/-0.1

(Base=607)

-0.1

Satisfaction rate of magazines[13]

13%

10%

13%

19+/-3%

+6%[14]

Dissatisfaction rate of magazines[13]

38%[14]

46%[14]

41%[14]

45+/-4%

+4%

Net satisfaction rate

-25%

-36%[14]

-28%[14]

-26+/-6%

+2%

Mean value[13]

2.5

(Base=464)

2.4

(Base=386)

2.5

(Base=430)

2.5+/-0.1

(Base=482)

--

Satisfaction rate of news media in general [13]

43%[14]

47%

48%

50+/-4%

+2%

Dissatisfaction rate of news media in general [13]

20%[14]

19%

18%

20+/-3%

+2%

Net satisfaction rate

23%[14]

28%

31%

30+/-7%

-1%

Mean value[13]

3.2[14]

(Base=546)

3.3

(Base=700)

3.3

(Base=520)

3.3+/-0.1

(Base=531)

--

* “Overall response rate” was used before September 2017, thereafter, “effective response rate” was used.

[11] These questions only use sub-samples of the tracking surveys concerned, the sample size for each question also varies. The sub-sample sizes of this survey range from 549 to 706, and the increased sampling errors have already been reflected in the figures tabulated.

[12] All error figures in the table are calculated at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% and that of net values not more than +/-7% at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures. The error margin of previous survey can be found at the POP Site.

[13] Collapsed from a 5-point scale. The mean value is calculated by quantifying all individual responses into 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 marks according to their degree of positive level, where 1 is the lowest and 5 the highest, and then calculate the sample mean.

[14] Such changes have gone beyond the sampling errors at the 95% confidence level, meaning that they are statistically significant prima facie. However, whether numerical differences are statistically significant is not the same as whether they are practically useful or meaningful, and different weighting methods could have been applied in different surveys.


Results of the survey also showed that 74% and 67% of the respondents claimed their main sources of news were television and internet respectively, while 32% thought the news reported by the former channel was the most trustworthy. Regarding people’s appraisal of various news channels, 61% of the respondents were satisfied with radio, whereas 52% and 43% were satisfied with television and internet respectively. Net satisfactions of these three channels were positive 48, 28 and 22 percentage points, and their mean values were 3.6, 3.3 and 3.3 respectively, meaning in between “half-half” and “quite satisfied”. Comparatively speaking, people’s satisfaction with print media was lower, as the respective satisfaction rates of newspapers and magazines were 39% and 19% only, and their net satisfactions stand at positive 9 and negative 26 percentage points, mean values at 3.0 and 2.5 respectively, the former is close to “half-half”, while the latter is in between “half-half” and “quite dissatisfied”. All in all, the latest satisfaction rate of the above news media in general was 50%, net satisfaction at positive 30 percentage points, and the mean value is 3.3, meaning between “half-half” and “quite satisfied”.

Commentary

Note: The following commentary was written by Senior Data Analyst of POP, Edward Tai.

Our latest survey shows that, compared to half a year ago, the general credibility rating of the news media didn’t change much and the latest figure is 5.67 marks while people’s net satisfaction with press freedom has decreased by 3 percentage points to positive 12 percentage points. Among various types of news media, television and the internet remain to be people’s main sources of news. In terms of performance satisfaction, people are most satisfied with the performance of the radio, with net satisfaction standing at positive 48 percentage points. Television comes next with net satisfaction standing at positive 28 percentage points. Overall speaking, people’s net satisfaction with the performance of the news media in general now stands at positive 30 percentage points.

Besides, more people think the media have given full play to press freedom, but the margin is narrowing, with the net value dropped to positive 3 percentage points, which is a record low again since the survey question was first asked in 1997. At the same time, people also think that the media misused or abused press freedom, its net value stands at positive 27 percentage points. Besides, 25% and 40% consider the media responsible and irresponsible in their reporting respectively. Meanwhile, 56% believe Hong Kong’s news media have practiced self-censorship, another 30% think the opposite, giving a net value of positive 26 percentage points. The majority of people thought the media have scruples when criticizing the Central Government, the net value is positive 45 percentage points which is a record high since 1998. The percentage of those who thought the media have scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government is also higher than those who thought otherwise, and the net value is positive 12 percentage points, which also is a record high since the survey question was first asked in 1997. As for the reasons affecting people’s appraisal of the press, readers can make their own judgment after reading the list of events archived in our “Opinion Daily” feature page in our “POP Site”.

Future Release (Tentative)

  • April 24, 2018 (Tuesday) 12pm to 2pm: Ratings of Top 10 Political Groups, Ratings of the Best Corporations