This study has been commissioned by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism to understand how news is being consumed in a range of countries. Research was conducted by YouGov using an online questionnaire at the end of January/beginning of February 2023.
Samples were assembled using nationally representative quotas for age, gender, and region in every market. Education quotas were also applied in all markets except Kenya, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, and Thailand. We also apply political quotas based on vote choice in the most recent national election in around a third of our markets, including the United States, Australia, and much of Western Europe. The data in all markets were weighted to targets based on census/industry accepted data.
Data from India, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa are representative of younger English-speakers and not the national population, because it is not possible to reach other groups in a representative way using an online survey. The survey was fielded mostly in English in these markets,1 and restricted to ages 18 to 50 in Kenya and Nigeria. Findings should not be taken to be nationally representative in these countries.
More generally, online samples will tend to under-represent the news consumption habits of people who are older and less affluent, meaning online use is typically over-represented and traditional offline use under-represented. In this sense, it is better to think of results as representative of the online population. In markets in Northern and Western Europe, where internet penetration is typically over 95%, the differences between the online population and national population will be small, but in South Africa (58%) and India (60%), where internet penetration is lower, the differences between the online population and the national population will be large, meaning we need to be cautious when comparing between markets.
The use of a non-probability sampling approach means that it is not possible to compute a conventional ‘margin of error’ for individual data points. However, differences of +/- 2 percentage points (pp) or less are very unlikely to be statistically significant and should be interpreted with a very high degree of caution. We typically do not regard differences of +/- 2pp as meaningful, and as a general rule we do not refer to them in the text. The same applies to small changes over time.
Surveys capture people’s self-reported behaviour, which does not always reflect people’s actual behaviour due to biases and imperfect recall. They are useful for capturing people’s opinions, but these are subjective and aggregates reflect public opinion rather than objective reality.2 Even with relatively large sample sizes it is not possible to meaningfully analyse many minority groups. Some of our survey-based results will not match industry data, which are often based on different methodologies, such as web-tracking.
*In Ireland and Canada we conducted a repoll of brand reach numbers offline in late March 2023 due to missing a brand in the original poll in each case. We only used the repoll to deliver a number for the missing brand. All other numbers are taken from the January/February poll unless stated.
Authorship and research acknowledgements
Nic Newman is Senior Research Associate at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and is also a consultant on digital media, working actively with news companies on product, audience, and business strategies for digital transition. He writes an annual report for the Institute on future media and technology trends.
Dr Richard Fletcher is Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He is primarily interested in global trends in digital news consumption, the use of social media by journalists and news organisations, and more broadly, the relationship between computer-based technologies and journalism.
Dr Craig T. Robertson is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism whose interests include news trust and credibility, fact-checking and verification, and how both partisan attitudes and epistemic beliefs factor into these domains.
Dr Kirsten Eddy is a postdoctoral research fellow in digital news at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. She studies the interplay of journalism, politics, and digital media, and the role of identity in each.
Prof. Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford, and served as Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Press/Politics from 2015 to 2018. His work focuses on changes in the news media, political communication, and the role of digital technologies in both.
Market-level commentary and additional insight around media developments have been provided by academic partners and by our network of Reuters Journalist Fellows around the world. RISJ Senior Research Associate Dr David Levy did invaluable work editing and further developing many of the country profiles in this year’s report, as did Giles Wilson. Additional expert analysis and interpretation of the survey data were provided by the team at YouGov, in particular, Charlotte Clifford, David Eastbury, Tibet Quinn, and Iyanu Taiwo.
The copyediting and design process of the Digital News Report 2023 was overviewed by the Reuters Institute's publications officer Alex Reid. This HTML version was edited by Eduardo Suárez, Matthew Leake, Gretel Kahn and Marina Adami, and the charts were created by data journalists from the company Storydata. The report was translated into Spanish by the Argentinian journalist Abel Escudero Zadrayec, founder and editor-in-chief of 8000, a news outlet at Bahía Blanca. The translation was edited the Reuters Institute's editorial team.
1 Respondents in India could choose to complete the survey in Hindi and respondents in Kenya could chose Swahili, but in both cases the vast majority selected an English survey.
2 From 2012 to 2020 we filtered out respondents who said that they had not consumed any news in the past month. From 2021 onwards we included this group, which generally has lower interest in news. In previous years this group averaged around 2–3% of the starting sample in each market, meaning that the decision to include it has not affected comparative results in any significant way. Some figures have been affected by one or two points in the UK, USA, and Australia, and we have taken this into account when interpreting changes involving these years.