Monday, August 9, 2021

iHM Study Finds Blacks Trust DJs More Than News Media

More than a year after the death of George Floyd sparked a national conversation about racial inequality, a recent study shows the Black community is generally distrustful of the news media while more trusting of disc jockeys and personalities they hear on the radio.

The Times of San Diego reports the study, conducted by Horowitz Research in conjunction with iHeart Media, underscores the deep emotional connection Black consumers have with radio, reports Inside Radio, an industry news service.

“Radio is used as a centralized meeting point for following events and moments important to the Black community,” said Hetal Patel, executive VP of research & insights at iHM. “In particular, the DJs and the personalities they hear are authentic and have built trust with their audiences making them among the most influential people in shaping their opinions. That’s the type of relationship and impact that they share with their DJs.”

The study shows that, when compared to the general population, Black adults are 64% more likely to say radio DJs and personalities influence their opinions. Radio personalities out-performed writers, poets, athletes, musicians, actors and social media influencers.

“What came through clear was the importance of Black radio to the community and that importance can’t be understated,” Patel said. “By providing a safe and authentic space to hear Black voices, Black radio has built a trust with the community. Black-owned or Black-managed news media provides an unbiased relatable perspective on topics and issues facing the Black Americans.”

The study also showed the Black community is often skeptical of news coverage, especially the way Black people are presented in newscasts.

“There is a feeling that Black people were typically portrayed more negatively unless it was following the death of a Black celebrity,” said Patel. “The telling of Black stories by Black voices is a crucial step toward proper representation.”

In 2020, iHM launched the Black Information Network, billed as the first and only 24/7 national and local all news audio service dedicated to providing an objective, accurate and trusted source of continual news coverage with a Black voice and perspective.

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