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TV is the top source for news, print newspapers are nowhere says latest research

Although TV is the main source of news for many consumers (39%), almost as many get most of their news from online sites (30%). No one quotes newspapers as being a main source of news, although 40% of consumers claim to buy them. These are the findings of recent research undertaken by digital insights company Toluna.

Key findings

  • The main source of news is TV (39%) followed by online news sites (30%) and social media (21%).
  • Facebook leads as the social media site people think is best for news (79%), followed by Twitter (31%) and Instagram (19%).
  • The main challenges facing the news industry are listed as fake news (34%), the growing rise of social platforms (25%), the shift away from print journalism (20%) and pressure for traffic and ratings outweighing the relevancy of the information presented (18%)
  • Most people do not buy newspapers, with just 40% saying that they do.
  • Most people (83%) have an online news subscription.
  • Video content will make 36% of respondents more likely to read a news story

Where do you get your main source of news from?

The downside of ‘social news’
Discussing how consumers are increasingly accessing news content in a variety of new mediums, especially via social media, Paul Twite, UK MD of Toluna, points out that each key media outlet has a company page on Facebook, Twitter and in some cases Instagram. Twite discusses how the rise of online increases the prevalence of fake news: “Accessing news online and on the move is becoming more important to consumers and this in turn is perhaps threatening both the consumption of print media and the rise of fake news. Traditional print media and well-respected UK new outlets go through a series of rigorous checking processes unlike a great deal of widely shared online news from less mainstream sites. 

“Reading news on these less-regulated sites has appeared to contribute to the spread of fake news with this widely being reported as being a source of misinformation throughout and in the wake of the US election. This has the potential to be a threat to the integrity of the media particularly as there is no ‘code’ in place on social media sites to flag fake news, with Facebook coming under fire for this specifically.”

Fighting fake news
Twite says that defining and censoring fake news within the media is still a grey area, but he explains how steps are being taken: “Media outlets such as the BBC announced this year that they are working on assembling a fake news team. This will see the corporation’s Reality Check series become a permanent fixture, backed by a dedicated team targeting false stories or facts being shared widely on social media.”

Twite says this is a trend to watch to see whether other news outlets will take on this challenge in order to retain the integrity of the freedom of press in conjunction with the rising impact of social media. He concludes: “It outlines the necessity of traditional and respected news sites in handling fake news”.

What do you think are the main challenges facing the news industry?

This survey was conducted by Toluna which surveyed 1,000 respondents above the age of 18 in the UK in February 2017.

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