Report Reveals Decline in Website and App Access for News, Younger Generations Prefer Social Media,
A recent report released by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism highlights a significant decline in the number of people globally who initially access news through websites or apps, with a drop of 10 points since 2018. The report also reveals that younger age groups prefer accessing news through social media, search engines, and mobile aggregators.
According to the annual Digital News Report, audiences now pay more attention to celebrities, influencers, and social media personalities than journalists on platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat. TikTok, in particular, is the fastest-growing social network for news, with 20% of 18- to 24-year-olds using it as a source, a 5-point increase from the previous year. The report also notes that less than half of the survey respondents express significant interest in news, a significant decline from 6 out of 10 in 2017.
"There are no reasonable grounds for expecting that those born in the 2000s will suddenly come to prefer old-fashioned websites, let alone broadcast and print, simply because they grow older," stated Rasmus Nielsen, Director of the Reuters Institute, in the report. The findings are based on an online survey conducted in 46 markets, including the U.S., with approximately 94,000 adults participating.
The report also reveals that less than a third of the respondents believe that having news stories selected based on their previous consumption is a good way to receive news, marking a 6-point decline since the survey asked the same question in 2016. However, people still slightly prefer algorithms to editors or journalists when it comes to news selection.
Trust in the news has also suffered a 2 percentage point decline in the past year, reversing gains made in many countries during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. On average, 40% of people state that they trust most news most of the time. While the United States has seen a 6-point increase in trust in news, reaching 32%, it remains among the lowest countries surveyed.
The report further highlights that 56% of people across markets worry about distinguishing between real and fake news on the internet, a 2-point increase from the previous year. Additionally, only 48% of respondents express strong interest in news, a decline from 63% in 2017.
Funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism aims to provide valuable insights into the changing landscape of news consumption and trust in media.