The Reuters Institute releases 11th edition of the world’s largest digital news report
June 15th, 2022, Hoang Nguyen

The Reuters Institute releases 11th edition of the world’s largest digital news report

Since 2012, YouGov has worked closely with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism to create an annual Digital News Report with the aim of tracking online news and engagement and highlighting major developments within the world of news media.

The eleventh edition of the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report includes data from six continents and 46 markets, with the addition of data from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Nigeria, Colombia and Peru to this year's report.

Despite previous positive signs in terms of trust in news in 2021, this year’s report finds that trust is in decline once more. Data from the report shows that Finland remains the country with the highest levels of overall trust (69%), while trust in news in the US (26%) has fallen by three percentage points from last year and ranks the lowest in the study.

Adding to the bleak picture of news media are the year-over-year declines in interest across the world. In 2022, just over half of the global sample express interest in the news (51%), down 12-points from 2017 (63%).

The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report this year also calls attention to the proportion of news consumers who say they are avoiding, rationing, or limiting their exposure to news.

Termed as selective news avoidance, this behavior (whether sometimes or often) has doubled in places such as Brazil (54%) and the UK (46%) since 2017 and has seen sharp increases in markets such as Ireland, Australia, and Spain during the same period.

Why are some people avoiding the news? Selective news avoiders around the globe cite a variety of reasons, with a plurality saying they are put off by the repetitiveness of news coverage related to politics and COVID-19 (43%). An additional 29% say they are worn out by the amount of news.

Other significant factors include the news bringing down people’s moods (36%), that it is untrustworthy and biased (29%) and that it leads to arguments that people would rather avoid (17%).

Selective news avoidance seems to be less widespread in Northern European markets including Germany, Denmark and Finland, as well as in parts of Asia such as Japan.

Now for a spot of good news.

TikTok is emerging as a significant player in the news ecosystem. While the short-video platform may have had its roots in dancing and quick-cut transitions, 4% of 12 markets surveyed say they use TikTok for news, up from 1% in 2020.

To put this into context, only TikTok and Instagram have grown as news sources over the last few years and despite Facebook’s continued dominance as the top news source among all social networks, its popularity has declined by 12-points since 2016 (from 42% to 30% in 2022).

This begs the question of whether video-heavy social networks like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok will change the way we consume news. Data from the report, however, shows that all groups - including younger audiences - still prefer to read news online rather than watch it. Under-24s around the world exhibit a stronger propensity to watch the news than older age cohorts (17% vs. 14% of global respondents).

Download the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2022 for more insight into news consumption this year, including:

  • The state of traditional and digital news subscriptions
  • Perceptions of media coverage of the war in Ukraine
  • Whether news audiences have become more polarized over time
  • Changing news habits and attitudes of younger audiences

  • How the dissemination of email newsletters has led to greater engagement and monetization
  • Which journalists people pay attention to and why
  • How people view and respond to climate change news

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