Social Media Overtakes TV as a Source of News for Young People

A report published by Reuters Institute for Journalism Research has highlighted how consumer practices are beginning to undermine traditional business models.

Based on a YouGov survey of around 50,000 people across 26 countries, including 2,000 Britons, Reuters Institute has published 4 annual reports previously. This year’s report however recognises “a second wave of disruption” to news organisations across the world, with “potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production”.

The report published in June 2016 found that 28% of young people (aged 18-24 years old) named social media as their primary news source. This is the first year that social media has overtaken the TV as young people’s primary source of news (with just 24% naming TV as their primary source).

The report also claims that 51% of people who have online access are using social media as a source of news, with around one in ten (12%) describing it as their main source.

With social media growing in use, traditional news organisations need to find new business models to survive online. The report finds that overall, the majority of consumers are still reluctant to pay for general news online. This trend is especially dominant in English speaking countries, where on average, only 9% are willing to pay.

Facebook has become one of the most powerful forces in global news. It is the most popular social network for consumers looking at the news (in all countries excluding Japan – where YouTube is the most popular network). In the majority of countries, YouTube and Twitter are the second and third most popular social networks respectively.