Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018

Date Posted: May 29, 2019 Last Modified: May 29, 2019
Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018 Photo: Agan Harahap, Flickr

This is the seventh annual report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) on the changes in the news environment across countries. The report is based on a YouGov survey of more than 74,000 people in 37 markets, with additional qualitative research making it the most comprehensive comparative study of news consumption in the world. This year's report finds hope in the change made by many media companies shifting models towards higher quality content and more emphasis on subscriptions. 

  • There has been a slight dip in the use of social media in markets like France, the UK and the US which is attributed to the decline of posting and sharing news on Facebook.
  • However, there has been a rise in the use of private messaging apps like WhatsApp for news consumption with it being used by half the data sample of online users in Malaysia and Brazil and by around third in Spain and Turkey.
  • The average level of trust in the news (44%) relatively remains the same across all countries with fewer than a quarter (23%) saying they trusted news found on social media.
  • More than half (54%) showed concern over what is real and fake on the internet. This was the highest in the US, Brazil and Spain where polarised political propaganda is combined with the highest social media use.
  • A majority of the respondents believed that publishers and platforms should be held accountable when it comes to fixing the problem of fake or unreliable news.
  • In Asia (63%) and Europe (60%) there was more agreement with regard to government intervention to stop 'fake news'.
  • The report also measured the effects of new literacy on the consumption of news and found those with higher new literacy less susceptible to fake news.
  • Podcast and voice-activated digital assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home are growing rapidly and opening up new opportunities for news audios.
  • More than half of news video consumption still occurs on third-party environments like Facebook and YouTube.