News Consumption Report Shows Young People Abandoning TV, Preferring Internet Sources

Ofcom released a report recently that provided a deep dive into the manner in which people in the UK tended to consume news and stay up to date on the latest events. While TV had a decent year last year with the coronavirus pandemic keeping people indoors thereby making it more likely that they would turn the TV on, it should be noted that the annual report indicates that younger people are shifting away from TV news and prefer to get their news from various online sources.

About 90% of people between the ages of 16-24 preferred to get news online. What’s more is that people that belonged to a minority ethnicity also preferred online news 85% of the time. This might have something or the other to do with the fact that TV news can be rather biased towards people that belong to these minorities, and they would want an alternative news source that is usually only found online.

For adults, however, the most popular platform for news remained TV with 79% of respondents saying that they got their news from this source. However, 73% also said that they got news online, so it might just be a matter of time before TV gets superseded once and for all. 62% of respondents said that they got their news from the BBC, something that indicates that the state owned news source has managed to successfully convince its viewership that it is a legitimate source of news that can be trusted at all times.

36% of respondents also said that they got their news from Facebook, with 24% saying they got news from Twitter and 19% saying that they got it from Instagram. This is somewhat concerning because Facebook is widely known for being a source of fake news and misinformation, and the fact that so many people are getting their news from this type of source is a clear indication that things are going to get a lot worse before they start to get better.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that half of the adult respondents to the survey claimed to get news from an official news website rather than social media. While no individual site is used as much as Facebook, this is still a heartening sign because it shows that lots of people are still trying to look for news that it is entirely legitimate.

The shift to online news is undeniable, and many news organizations are focusing on this to try and maintain some semblance of longevity well into the future lest they lose the demographic that matters the most.

H/T: Ofcom.

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