How We Get Our News Is Changing
Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012 offers insights into digital news consumption across Europe and the United States
The newest Reuters Institute Digital Report for 2012 reveals insights about digital news consumption across Europe and the United States.
The report, based on a survey of online news companies in five countries – UK, US, Germany, France, and Denmark, is part of an ambitions endeavor to track digital news behavior over the next decade. Some of the key findings in the report range from the significant differences in how people of different nations access their news, how frequently news is switching from print to digital, the rise of smartphone usage, and digital news and the age gap.
Key findings include:
- There are significant differences in how regularly people keep up with the news across our surveyed countries. More than 9 in 10 Germans access the news at least once a day compared with only 3 in 4 people in the United Kingdom.
- The rapid switch from print to digital in the United States is not being replicated exactly in European countries. Germany is showing the strongest allegiance to traditional viewing and reading habits and has the lowest levels of internet news use.
Rise of smartphones and tablets
- Smartphones are starting to play a significant role in the consumption of news with more than a quarter of those in the US and UK accessing news via their mobile each week (28%) rising to almost one third in Denmark (32%)
- In the UK, more than one in ten (13%) say their smartphones are now their MAIN way of accessing online news. This figure rises to more than a quarter for the 25–34 year old age group (27%). Over 55s show almost no interest in accessing news this way.
Digital natives show new online behaviors
- Younger people are more likely to use social media rather than search to discover news – whereas for older groups it is the other way round. More generally, social media (20%) is now beginning to rival search (30%) as a key gateway to news in the UK – in terms of weekly access
- Young people are more likely to make a news related comment or post a picture on a social network than on a traditional news site. For older groups the reverse is true.