Key Findings

Media and Social Media Consumption, Trust, and Literacy

Summary of Key Findings

A special report on consumption patterns and trust in the media and social media.


Summary of Key Findings

The Israel Democracy Institute has published a special report on consumption patterns and trust in the media and social media. The lead researcher was Dr. Tehilla Shwartz-Altshuler, Senior Fellow and Head of the IDI Democracy in the Information Age program. Inna Orly Sapozhnikov from the IDI Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research was also involved in the study. The report is based on a survey of the Jewish population of Israel. A companion survey of the consumption habits of Arab Israelis will be published at a later date. The following is a summary of the key findings of the survey.

Consumption of News

  • Internet news sites are Israelis' most common source of news. Almost two-thirds of those surveyed (63%) check the news online on a daily basis.
  • Social media is the next most popular news source at 59.5%; television at 58%; WhatsApp and Telegram at 52%; radio at 36%; and the print media at 16%.

Television News

  • The leading news channel in Israel is Channel 12[1]: 51% reported that it is their main source of news.
  • Next came Channel 14[2] at 20%.
  • Both Channel 13 and Kan 11 (Israel's public broadcasting network) scored 13%.
  • When it comes to the outlets that respondents reported as their primary or secondary news source, 72.5% said Channel 12, followed by Channel 13, 45%, and Kan 11, 37%. Channel 14 trails, with 30%.
  • Roughly a quarter of viewers of Channel 14 said they watch no other television news channels.
  • The “Information Bubble”: On the Right, a cumulative 50.5% watch Channels 11, 12, and 13; 24% watch Channel 14. Almost none in the Center and Left watches Channel 14: 4% and 3.5%, respectively.
  • Viewer profile: The percentage of secular Jews who get their news from Channel 12 (59%) and Channel 13 (63%) far exceeds those who get their news from Channel 14 (about 25%). Channel 14 has a very large percentage of viewers on the political Right, with a similar distribution of the political camps among the other channels.
  • More than half (51%) of Channel 14 viewers do not watch any news programs on Shabbat, when it does not broadcast.

Internet News Sites

  • YNet is the most popular online news source, 40%; followed by N12 (part of Keshet media group), 24%.
  • Looking at respondents’ primary and secondary sites together, YNet still leads, jumping to 61%, followed by N12, 43%; Walla, 21%; and Kan 11 and Mako, 14% each.

News from Social Networks

Meta, the parent company of platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, has a dominant position as the source of news from social networks:

  • Facebook is the social network most cited as respondents’ primary or secondary news source: 72%.
  • Instagram is second, with 46.5%.
  • The percentage of those who obtain their news from X (formerly Twitter) is only 12%.
  • Gender differences: 65% of Instagram users are female; 64% of Twitter users are male.

News from WhatsApp and Telegram Groups

  • About two-thirds (65%) of the respondents get their news from WhatsApp; 44% do so from Telegram.
  • WhatsApp users are members of 15 groups on average. Telegram users follow an average of 10 groups.

Trust in the Media and Social Networks

  • The average level of trust in the media was 46%.
  • Respondents reported the highest trust in Kan 11 (60%). This was followed by Channel 12 (54%), Channel 13 (46%), and Channel 14 (35%).
  • When it comes to trust in the channel that respondents actually watch, 85% of Channel 14 viewers trust it. The level of trust among viewers of other channels is likewise high—around 70%.
  • More than 60% of WhatsApp and Telegram users trust their family, friends, and coworker groups. There is much less trust in groups led by politicians or journalists: Telegram, 47%; WhatsApp, 39%.
  • Only 45% report that they trust the social networks they obtain news from.

Media Literacy and Disinformation

  • Some 56% of the respondents believe they are capable of distinguishing fake news from factual reports. By political orientation, the breakdown is Left, 72%; Center, 56%; Right, 54%.
  • Some 70% of the respondents believe they are capable of distinguishing news reports from commentary, with no large differences among the political blocs.

Responsibility for Fake News

  • About a quarter of the respondents believe that ordinary people who share content on the social networks are the main purveyors of fake news.
  • Nearly one-fifth of the respondents pointed to political parties and those close to political leaders; a similar percentage blamed outside agents.
  • Broken down by political orientation, the most common answer on the Right was that ordinary people are mainly responsible for fake new. Centrists pointed almost equally to ordinary people and political activists (about a quarter each). On the Left, the most common answers were political activists and political leaders (a third each).

Reposting: 70.5% of the respondents say they have never regretted sharing inaccurate information in groups or social networks.

Exposure to the War Atrocity Videos

  • More than three-quarters of the sample, with no difference by political orientation, believe that the television channels’ decision not to broadcast Hamas videos of hostages was correct.
  • One-third of the respondents have viewed war-related content that the television channels decided not to broadcast.
  • Some 44% of the respondents reported that they regretted having watched war-related videos online.



[1] Though not a perfect comparison, Channel 12 could be reasonably compared to news channels such as CNN in the US in terms of how it is perceived politically

[2] Though not a perfect comparison, Channel 14 can be reasonably compared to news channels such as Fox News in terms of how it is perceived politically