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‘Traditional sources’ dominate UK news consumers’ online favorites

December 23, 2015 | By DCN

Ofcom’s 2015 research examines news consumption across the four main platforms: television, radio, print and online. The report details various findings relating to the consumption of news: the sources and platforms used, the perceived importance of different outlets for news, attitudes to individual news sources, reasons to follow news, the use of local news, and news consumption in United Kingdom nations.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Two-thirds of adults say they use TV for news, compared to three-quarters in 2014
  • Those aged 55+ are more likely than those aged 16-24 to use TV, newspapers and radio for news consumption, while the opposite is true for the internet/ apps
  • Total hours of national and international news viewing have decreased since 2013
  • The reach of national newspapers has decreased considerably in the past ten years, with reach among all adults decreasing by more than 27 percentage points since 2005

According to Ofcom’s findings, Online news consumption varies considerably by age, socio-economic group and gender.

‘Traditional’ news sources are used most for online news, but social media is also popular:

When Ofcom combined the various types of online news source, those from ‘traditional’ news media such as TV, radio, and newspapers are used most (by 64% of online news users), while ‘digital first’ news sources (excluding social media, search engines and blogs) are used by 28%. Ten per cent of online news users use only social media sites for news, rising to 16% of those aged 16-24.

Routes to online news vary: the most popular way is to use an app to go direct to the home page of a news provider:

Of those who use the internet or apps for news, around half (51%) say they use the website or apps of TV and radio companies to get news (figure 6.1). More than two in five (43%) respondents say they use social media sites. This is followed by 37% who say they use search engines, 28% who use websites or apps of newspapers, 17% who use websites or apps of news aggregation sites, 16% who use websites or apps of online news organizations, 6% who use websites or apps of news magazines and 5% using blogs.

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