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Quick Tech News


by Alexander Fäh

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Study Reveals: Social Media and Influencers Dominate News Access

  • Globally, fewer people are using websites and apps as their primary source of news.

  • Younger generations are turning to social media and influencers for news consumption.

  • Trust in news is declining, and identifying fake news is a growing concern.


Younger Generations Prefer Social Media and Influencers for News, while Access via Websites and Apps Declines.

A new study shows that traditional news sources are losing influence, while social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram are gaining traction; Image: Sensor Tower

A recent study conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reveals a decline in the use of websites and apps as the initial access point for news worldwide since 2018.

Particularly among younger demographics, there is a shift towards social media and influencers as the primary source of information. Platforms like TikTok and Instagram are gaining increasing importance, while the influence of traditional news sources is diminishing.

According to the study, celebrities, influencers, and social media personalities on platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat are more appealing to the younger audience than journalists.

TikTok, in particular, has experienced significant growth as a social network for news consumption, with 20% of 18- to 24-year-olds using it, marking a five-percentage-point increase from the previous year. Interest in traditional news sources, on the other hand, is declining, with less than half of the survey respondents expressing significant interest in news overall.

The study suggests that those born in the 2000s are unlikely to develop a preference for traditional websites or other traditional media forms as they grow older. The younger generation has already shifted their preferences towards digital platforms.

Furthermore, the study highlights a 2-percentage-point decline in trust in news over the past year, reversing the gains observed in many countries during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic. On average, only 40% of respondents stated that they trust most news most of the time.

While the United States saw a 6-percentage-point increase in trust in news, reaching 32%, it still remains among the countries with the lowest levels of trust according to the survey.

The study also reveals that 56% of respondents express concerns about distinguishing real news from fake news on the internet, marking a 2-percentage-point increase compared to the previous year.

Overall, the study underscores the growing challenges faced by traditional news sources and journalists in light of shifting habits and preferences among younger generations. Social media and influencers have emerged as key players in news consumption, while trust in traditional media forms is declining.


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