Reuters think tank calls out SMNI claim about Rappler as ‘false, misleading’

July 15, 2022 - 4:46 PM
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Reuters Institute SMNI Rappler trusted news brands
UK think tank Reuters Institute called an SMNI report about Rappler "false and misleading."(Interaksyon artwork)

UK-based media think tank Reuters Institute corrected the administration-leaning Sonshine Media News International’s (SMNI) report about news company Rappler.

SMNI claimed in a tweet and other similar reports that Rappler is the “most least trusted news organization,” citing Reuters Institute’s 2022 Digital News Report.

The center slammed the SMNI reports as “false and misleading.”

“Our work is still being abused by voices like this one, who claim it finds that @rapplerdotcom is the least trusted news org in the Philippines,” Reuters Institute said in its statement.

“As we write explicitly, trust scores “should not be treated as a list of the most trusted brands,” it added.

In an index presented on the 2022 Reuters Digital Report, it is shown that Rappler has the lowest trust score among the news outlets listed. But the report also included a caveat that the list should not be treated as the list of the most trusted news outlets.

“Those that haven’t heard of each brand were excluded. Only the above brands were included in the survey so should not be treated as a list of the most trusted brands,” the description reads.

In June, Reuters Institute director Rasmus Nielsen warned that the digital report is weaponized by online trolls, partisan media, and even public officials to paint certain news outlets as unreliable.

“All work in the public domain is vulnerable to abuse by bad actors and others willing to cherry-pick data, take things out of context, and the like,” he said.

The report has been used by pro-Marcos administration bloggers in the Philippines to falsely claim that Rappler is the least trusted news brand, painting the outlet as “biased” and “unreliable.”