Entertainment & Arts

Ofcom reports more people using social media for news

Newspapers and an tablet Image copyright Getty Images

The number of people watching news on TV is falling, but social media is growing in its popularity as a news source, according to Ofcom.

The broadcast regulator's annual news consumption report looks at how consumption habits are changing in the UK.

TV remains the most popular news platform, but usage has dropped from 79% of adults to 75% in the last year.

But those using social media for news rose by 44% to 49%.

Other findings from this year's report include:

  • The most popular news source remains BBC One (used by 58%), followed by ITV (40%) and Facebook (35%).
  • Over a third of adults (38%) still get their news from newspapers, but that increases to 49% when newspaper websites and apps are included.
  • Use of the BBC News channel has decreased since 2018 from 26% to 23%.
  • The use of Facebook for news has remained stable, but more people are using Twitter (up from 14% to 16%), WhatsApp (from 10% to 14%) and Instagram (9% to 13%) to consume news.
  • Magazines are rated more favourably than any other news platform for quality, accuracy, trustworthiness and impartiality. Social media platforms tend to be rated least favourably on these measures.

One graph in particular showed the overlap in how adults - those aged 16 and over - consume news on the four major platforms.

For example, just 1% of respondents said they solely use newspapers, while 13% exclusively use the internet. Around 14% said they use all four of TV, radio, the internet and newspapers.

That is matched by the 14% of respondents who only use television and the internet.

Image copyright Ofcom

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