This year’s Reuters Institute Digital News Report provides evidence that much of the public is turning away from – or at least selectively avoiding – important stories such as the pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis. The report documents ways in which the connection between journalism and much of the public may be fraying, including a fall in trust following last year’s positive bump, and declining interest in news. Our survey finds that younger audiences have a weaker connection with news brands, and are increasingly accessing the news via platforms such as TikTok. These
are some of the conclusions of the report, which is based on an online survey of 93,432 people in 46 countries
- On news avoidance
The percentage of people who avoid the news on certain topics on purpose has gone up in the face of a depressing news agenda (COVID-19, the rise of inflation, the war in Ukraine). Across our global sample, 38% say they often or sometimes avoid the news – up from 29% in 2017. Avoiders have doubled in Brazil (54%) and the UK (46%) since 2017.
On younger audiences
People under 25 have been switching allegiance away from Facebook towards visual networks like Instagram and TikTok, where entertainment and influencers play a bigger role. Across all countries, 40% of 18-24s use TikTok each week, with 15% saying they use it for news. Figures are even higher in some countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
- On trust
Trust in news has fallen in almost half the countries in our survey and risen in just seven. On average, 42% say they trust most news most of the time. Finland remains the country with the highest levels of overall trust (69%), while the US has the lowest score (26%, -3) along with Slovakia.
On paying for news
Despite significant increases in the proportion paying for online news in a handful of richer countries such as Australia (+5), Germany (+5) and Sweden (+3), there are signs that overall growth may be levelling off. Across 20 countries, 17% paid for any online news, the same figure as last year. Online subscriptions are still rising in some places but slowing down elsewhere with fears that people will go on subscription diets due to the cost-of-living squeeze.
You can find the full report here
You can find a summary of the report here