print and TV, survey says
By the University of Oxford news staff
A report shows that Germans still prefer a newspaper, while online news
has overtaken print and TV news as the most frequently used medium in
the United Kingdom and the United States for those using computers,
mobile phones and tablets for news.
One in five people in the UK now shares news stories every week through
social networks or e-mail. However, the report also suggests out of the
five countries studied, consumers in the UK were the most resistant to
the idea of paying for online news.
The Reuters Institute Digital News Report, published this week by
Oxford University’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, is
based on the findings of YouGov surveys in the United Kingdom, United
States France, Germany and Denmark. The report finds that more than a
quarter (28 percent) of those surveyed in the U.S. and UK access news
via their mobile device each week. Six out of 10 tablet owners in the
UK said they regularly accessed online news.
In the UK, mobile phone users are more concerned about the cost of
accessing news (32 percent) than those who accessed news on a computer.
Some 58 percent of tablet users, who are generally from a higher-income
bracket, use the device to access news every week and are more likely
to pay for news content; newspaper brands with paid apps did
significantly better on a tablet than on the open internet.
Of those surveyed, four out of 10 tablet users said accessing news on
the device is a better experience than on a personal computer. Overall,
in the UK only 4 per cent of those surveyed said they had paid for
online news, while Denmark had the highest percentage (12 percent) of
consumers, of the countries studied, who have paid for online news.
Report author Nic Newman, a research associate at Oxford University's
Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, said: “For many people
digital news is now the first place to go for the latest news, rivaling
television as the most frequently accessed type of news in the UK and
Of those surveyed, nearly eight out of 10 people accessed online
news every week, but the transition from print to digital is much
slower in other European countries. The report suggests that the
Germans were the least likely to access news online of the five
countries studied with almost seven out of 10, of those surveyed,
saying they still read a newspaper.
The report also shows that in the UK, celebrity news is perceived to be
more important – and news about politics less important – compared to
the other countries surveyed. There is more interest in business and
economic news in the UK and the U.S. than in the European countries
The young also watch fewer traditional television news bulletins than
older people. The young listen to far less news on radio, but spend far
more time accessing news on their mobiles than older people, says the
report. The young are also more likely to use social media rather
than search for news, whereas for older groups it is the other way
In general, the study found, Europe lags behind the U.S. in both the
sharing of news and other forms of digital participation. In the UK,
Facebook is the most important network for news, accounting for over
half (55 percent) of all news sharing, followed by email (33 percent)
and Twitter (23 percent).
The Reuters Institute Digital News Report is the first in a series of
reports that the RISJ hopes to publish over the coming years, tracking
the changes in the public’s use of digital and traditional media to
access news. The online surveys were conducted for Reuters Institute
for the Study of Journalism by YouGov in April 2012 and involved 2,487
respondents. The report reflects only the views of online users and
excludes respondents who expressed no interest in accessing news at all.
July 13, 2012