More people are avoiding the news, and trusting it less, report says

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Younger audiences are increasingly accessing the news via platforms such as TikTok.
Younger audiences are increasingly accessing the news via platforms such as TikTok.
Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
  • According to a report released on Tuesday, a growing number of people are selectively avoiding important news stories.
  • Trust in news is also declining, and is lowest in the United States. 
  • Younger audiences are increasingly accessing the news via platforms such as TikTok, and have a weaker connection to news brands.


A growing number of people are selectively avoiding important news stories such as the coronavirus pandemic, Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and the cost-of-living crisis, according to a report released on Tuesday.

While the majority of people surveyed consume news regularly, 38% said they often or sometimes avoid the news – up from 29% in 2017 – the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report. Around 36% – particularly those under 35 – say that the news lowers their mood.

Trust in news is also declining, and is lowest in the United States. On average, 42% of people said they trust most news most of the time; that figure has fallen in almost half the countries in the report and risen in seven.

"Large numbers of people see the media as subject to undue political influence, and only a small minority believe most news organisations put what's best for society ahead of their own commercial interest," wrote Reuters Institute Director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen in the report, which is based on an online survey of 93,432 people, conducted in 46 markets.

Younger audiences are increasingly accessing the news via platforms such as TikTok, and have a weaker connection to news brands, the report found.

Each week 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds access news via aggregators, search engines and social media. Forty percent of that age group uses TikTok each week, with 15% saying they use it to find, discuss or share news.

The growth in the number of people who pay for online news may be leveling off, with a large proportion of digital subscriptions going to a few national brands. Across 20 countries where payment for news is widespread, 17% of survey respondents paid for any online news, the same figure as last year. Payment for local news varies across markets.

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is funded by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters.

The poll has a margin of error of 2-3 percentage points up or down.



Never miss a story. Choose from our range of newsletters to get the news you want delivered straight to your inbox.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
18% - 207 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
8% - 99 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
67% - 794 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
7% - 80 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.61
+0.0%
Rand - Pound
20.07
+0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.93
+0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.61
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.1%
Gold
1,786.10
-0.2%
Silver
20.69
+0.1%
Palladium
2,205.00
-1.7%
Platinum
945.50
+0.1%
Brent Crude
96.65
+1.8%
Top 40
63,771
0.0%
All Share
70,266
0.0%
Resource 10
65,045
0.0%
Industrial 25
85,829
0.0%
Financial 15
15,741
0.0%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE