About the report-
- This study, an annual one commissioned by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, tracks how news is consumed in different countries.
- It is based on a survey conducted by YouGuv, a British market research and data analytics firm, in January/February 2022 through online questionnaires.
- It covers 46 markets in six continents.
- Since it is based on online questionnaires, the findings are not necessarily nationally representative, especially for countries with lower internet penetration.
- For India, the data is more representative of younger English speakers and not the national population as such.
- It flags six major trends which could have wider socio-political implications.
- Firstly, people are trusting news content less and less.
- Second, consumption of traditional news media declined in nearly all the countries surveyed.
- Third, the proportion of news consumers who say that they “avoid news” has risen sharply across countries, with the report describing the phenomenon as “selective avoidance”.
- Fourth, despite small increases in the proportion of people willing to pay for online news (mostly in richer countries), the growth in digital subscriptions for news content seems to be leveling off.
- Next, “the smartphone has become the dominant way in which most people first access news in the morning”.
- Finally, the report notes that while Facebook remained the most-used social network for news, it is TikTok that has become the fastest-growing network, “reaching 40% of 18-24-year-olds, with 15% using the platform for news”. (Note: TikTok, however, is currently banned in India).
Trends in India-
- In the section on India, produced in collaboration with the Asian College of Journalism, the report has observed that “India is a strongly mobile-focussed market”.
- It says that 72% of the survey respondents accessed news through smartphones and 35% did so via computers.
- Also, 84% of the Indian respondents sourced news online, 63% from social media, 59% from television, and 49% from print.
- YouTube (53%) and WhatsApp (51%) were the top social media platforms for sourcing news.
- India registered a small increase in the level of trust, with 41% trusting news overall.
- Legacy print brands and public broadcasters continued to have high trust levels.