In a tight contest, both POLITICO and The Economist captured the attention of 74% of the respondents as the premier EU sources of news. However, POLITICO maintained its leading position by receiving a higher percentage of “very influential” ratings (36% compared to The Economist’s 30%). Notably, despite this achievement, POLITICO witnessed a 6% drop from its previous year’s ratings.
The Economist’s strong showing came after it surpassed both The Financial Times (FT) and Reuters, benefitting from a 5% uptick in its overall vote. While FT secured the third spot, Reuters, previously in second, slid to the fourth position. Other significant movements in the rankings included Euractiv (rising 6%), EUobserver (climbing 7%), and Euronews (declining 10%).
In the realm of social media, LinkedIn remains the second most popular platform among EU decision-makers, following WhatsApp. X (previously known as Twitter) has observed a decrease in its usage, though its standing as a “news source” has seen an improvement, placing it as the sixth most influential, a 6% increase from last year.
A notable highlight of the survey is the growth of social media influencers, which encompasses activists, academics, campaigners, and journalists. Their influence has risen from 30% in 2022 to 46% in 2023. However, only a minority (8%) of respondents regard these influencers as “very influential”.
The EU Media Poll, since its inception in 2016, has been a vital tool in understanding the media preferences of EU decision-makers, including MEPs, EU officials, and opinion leaders. It evaluates not only media consumption but also contrasts it with other sources of influence such as interactions with peers, stakeholders, lobbyists, and events. Among the qualities sought in media outlets, insider access, expert analysis, and quality of content stand out. The Economist uniquely received recognition for its journalistic and content creation excellence.
Andrew Cecil, CEO of BCW Brussels, commented on the evolving media landscape, stressing the importance of recognizing influential channels. Meghan Oliver, Senior Director at Savanta, highlighted the increasing significance of social media influencers in shaping policies.