This article is published courtesy of Rasmus Kleis Nielsen
Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford
The 2023 Reuters Institute Digital News Report is now out now. It takes a village of researchers and country partners to do, so proud of this team.
We cover 46 markets, accounting for more than 1/2 of world’s population.
Full report here.
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And a few highlights below.
We document how many coming of age now eschew direct discovery for most brands, have little interest in conventional news offers oriented to older generations’ habits, interests, and values, instead embrace participatory, personable, personalised options offered via platforms.
This shift in media use is accompanied by ‘generalised scepticism’, not just low trust in news found via social and search (as we have shown before) but also concern over whether online news is real or fake (esp. among those who say they mainly use social media as source of news).
And there are other concerns around platforms and algorithms – across the countries where we asked, nearly half agree of respondents ‘worry that more personalised news may mean that I miss out on important information’ (48%) and ‘miss out on challenging viewpoints’ (46%).
Active online participation with news is declining (offline too), and concerned about what they see on platforms, majority of respondents say they have tried to influence story selection in one or more ways (e.g. changing settings), with different objectives (and rarely more fun).
Social media platforms is also where respondents are most likely to say they come across people criticising journalists or the news media. These criticism are often driven by politicians, and looking across our dataset, we find a correlation between exposure to media criticism and low trust in news.
Despite reservations over misinformation, trust, algorithms, and more, the “new normal” is a world where people overwhelmingly, everywhere, opt for digital media in terms of their use – and are often not paying attention to mainstream outlets and journalists even when it comes to news.
This is a super difficult environment for the business of news. On one side, various competing platforms are attracting most online advertising. On the other, many different subscription offers compete with news, and most news subscriptions go to a few winners, mostly upmarket national titles.
Report lead author is Nic Newman, working with Richard Fletcher, Kirsten Eddy, Craig Robertson and myself.
It is made possible by 18 sponsors, our amazing country partners, and the whole Reuters Insitute team.
It’s a community effort, and I’m so happy to be part of this community.