2018 General Election: Fiji Times newspaper, website remain dominant source of information

THE Fiji Times newspaper and its website remain a dominant source for people seeking information on the elections, a national poll has revealed.

The Tebbutt-Times Poll conducted between October 21–24 had asked the public for their views on their main source of information regarding elections, political parties and candidates.

For those getting their election information from printed newspapers, 78 per cent claimed their main newspaper was The Fiji Times while only 20 per cent claimed the Fiji Sun was their newspaper for election information, and 2 per cent mentioned ‘another newspaper’.

For those getting their election information from an online news website, 47 per cent claimed Fiji Times Online was their preferred website, Fiji Village (22 per cent), and Fiji Sun website (21 per cent).

A range of other responses were also given.

According to the poll, 73 per cent of the people get election information from TV, and 30 per cent named this medium as their main source.

Radio is an information source for 68 per cent of those polled and the main source for 24 per cent.

According to the poll, social media is becoming an important source of information for people seeking election-related information.

Almost half of those questioned get information about the elections and parties from social media (47 per cent), and it is the main source for 21 per cent.

Trailing far behind these four main sources are friends, relatives and colleagues on 13 per cent, billboards (mentioned by 7 per cent), online news sources (5 per cent), government websites or the elections office website (4 per cent), posters and public meetings (3 per cent each), and brochures or leaflets (2 per cent).

Data by age groups showed that social media usage for information on the elections was inversely related to age, so as the age increases, use of social media decreases.

Two thirds (66 per cent) of the youngest group of 18-29-year olds use social media, compared with half (48 per cent) of 30-44-year olds and just 28 per cent of 45-year olds and over.

Based on this result, we can expect social media to grow in importance in future elections for disseminating information.

Interestingly, those in the Northern and Eastern divisions have radio in the top spot at 83 per cent, while for the Central and Western divisions, TV is in the top spot at 75 per cent and 73 per cent, respectively.

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