Five Takeaways From Reuters’ Future Of Digital News Report

Tags: , , , , , , , , , News No comments
featured image

Trust in the media is down, online video use is up, more and more people get their news on mobiles and social media and consumers are still not willing to pay for online news. These are some of the key findings from this year’s Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

Here are five takeaways from the report, which is based on a survey of 50,000 online news consumers from 26 countries:

  1. Social media for news is growing

Just over half say they use social media as a source of news, while around one in ten say it is their main source. Facebook is the biggest platform for finding, consuming and sharing news (44%), while over a quarter of 18-24s say social media (28%) is their main source of news, overtaking television (24%) for the first time.

Growth of social media as a main source of news (selected countries)
SM graph

  1. Trust in the news is down

While trust in news remains high in Scandinavia (65% in Finland), there are concerns that personalised news and a more algorithmic selection of news means people are missing out on important information and challenging viewpoints. More digital news brands haven’t built the same levels of trust as older brands, such as Yahoo, MSN or AOL. This is because news is increasingly consumed via social networks where the original news brand is less clearly noticed. In the EU average trust levels are 43%, but even lower in the US (33%).

% that agree ‘you can trust news organisations/journalists most of the time’

trust graph

  1. Online video is playing a bigger role

A third of Americans use online video news, compared with 22% in the EU. Publishers and technology platforms push video content for commercial reasons, but consumers are still resistant. Over three-quarters (78%) say they still mostly rely on text, as they find reading news quicker and more convenient (41%) and because of the annoyance of ads (35%).

Weekly video news consumption by country
vid news graph

  1. Mobile is becoming the #1 device for news

Smartphone usage for news reached half of the global sample (53%), while computer use is falling and tablet growth is flattening out. TV remains the most important for older viewers, but overall usage has continued to decline. The rise of mobile news coincides with the rise of new platforms – 12% of 18-24 year olds in the US now use Snapchat Discover.

Changing device use in UK 2012-16 – weekly reach per device

  1. Consumers not willing to pay for online news

While around 45% of those surveyed are willing to pay for a printed newspaper, only a small percentage can be persuaded to pay for general news online. On average only 9% are keen to pay for online news in the English-speaking world, but in countries with lesser-used languages, people are twice as likely to pay for online content.

% that have paid (anything) for online news in the last year

paid graph

Read the full report here:

About Ed Sawyer

Communication Assistant at Clear Europe and Journalism student at Southampton Solent University. Twitter: @ESJourn

Related Posts

  • cambridge-analytica-facebook
  • 12 reasons why you should hire a journalist
  • 5 reasons for organisations to consider working with social media influencers

Add your comment