Digital News Report 2019 out now
The Reuters Institute's eighth annual Digital News Report is based on a survey of 75,000 news users in 38 countries across the world including in Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and, for the first time, Africa where we have looked at news trends in South Africa. It looks at audience trends and perspectives including levels of trust, concern over misinformation, the impact of populism, news subscriptions, changing use of social media platforms and more.
This year's report comes against a global backdrop of populism, political and economic instability, and concern over the role of tech giants in society. The survey examines how the news is serving the needs of its consumers in this environment.
Some of the key findings include:
- Around the world, the proportion paying for any online news has increased only slightly, with this growth being limited to a few Nordic countries. Even in countries where people pay in higher numbers, most only do so for one title.
- Social communication is becoming more private with people continuing to turn away from Facebook. WhatsApp is becoming the primary social communication tool for news in many countries in the Global South including Brazil (53% usage for news), Malaysia (50%) and South Africa (49%).
- Concern around misinformation is high in many countries despite efforts by platforms and publishers to build public confidence.
- Trust in news in general is down by 2 percentage points to 42%, and less than half (49%) trust the news that they themselves use.