For the first time, more Japanese people are reading news on their smartphones or computers than in morning newspapers, a survey by the Japan Press Research Institute showed Saturday.

It was also the first time since the organization began such surveys in 2008 that the ratio of morning newspaper readers fell below 70 percent.

The ratio of those who go online for their news grew 14.3 points from the poll in 2010, which asked the same questions, to 71.4 percent.

In the 2008 survey, about 90 percent of the respondents said they read morning newspapers, but that sank to 68.5 percent in this year’s poll.

Print, however, was favored over the internet in terms of credibility. On a scale of 100, the reliability score for newspapers edged up to 68.7, while that for online sources fell 2.1 points to 51.4.

NHK’s credibility rating stood at 70 points, followed by commercial TV stations at 59.2, radio stations at 58.2 and magazines at 45. All saw a slight increase.

This year’s survey broached the issue of “fake news” for the first time, a term popularized in part by U.S. President Donald Trump. About 40 percent of respondents said they knew about the term, and the same ratio said they think about whether articles they are reading are fake.

The survey, conducted in November, covered 5,000 people aged 18 or over and drew 3,169 valid responses.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
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