A study conducted by Oxford University for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism revealed that the majority of young Americans (72%) are kept informed by news published on online platforms and social networks.
The most used networks as a source of news are Facebook (29%); followed by YouTube (24%); Twitter (14%); Instagram (12%) and TikTok (6%). According to the report:
Americans are watching less television news each year and print media have been on the slide for decades, but interest in online and social media is hotting up again as the next presidential election cycle approaches. Facebook remains the top social network for news, while Twitter remains a major force despite changes forced through by Elon Musk.
People's trust in the news (32%) increased by six percentage points from last year's low (26%).
Young people rely on influencers
Globally, 55% of TikTok users and 52% of Instagram members are kept informed by news posted by influencers on their accounts. Reuters Institute senior research associate Nice Newman said that young people don't only rely on "influencers" for engaging content and social media as a way to keep in touch with loved ones or friends, but also as a way to find out what's going on in the world:
Our data shows, more clearly than ever, how this change is strongly influenced by the habits of the younger generations, who have grown up with social networks and today tend to pay more attention to influencers or celebrities than to journalists, even when it comes to the news.
In addition, the study revealed that young people are increasingly critical of the traditional media. Only 48% of them indicated that they use television to get information or watch the news. This figure is down 24 percentage points compared to 2013 (when the figure was 72%).
On the other hand, print media is becoming less popular among young people. Only 16% percent admitted to using printed sources to get information on current news. This is down 31 percentage points compared to 2013 (47%).
Reuters Institute director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen said the report's findings represent "a much more fundamental shift" for news broadcasting, traditional media and digital platforms.