Reuters Institute India Digital News Report

Date Posted: June 1, 2019 Last Modified: June 1, 2019
Reuters Institute India Digital News Report Photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay

This Reuters Institute report provides a snapshot of the development and rise of mobile media, social media platforms, and messaging applications and how its changing the Indian news media landscape and user engagement with it. This is a pilot study which deals exclusively with a small (but important) subset of the Indian media market, namely English-language news users with Internet access. There is scope for future research which includes more vernacular languages and a comprehensive study to cover the millions of Indians who still do not have Internet access. 

  • A substantial number of respondents (68%) identified smartphones as their main device for online news, with 31% saying they only used mobile phones to access news.
  • The respondents revealed a reliance on platforms as their source of discovering news online. Search (32%) and other social media (24%) are particularly prominent. Only 18% consider direct their main way of getting news online.
  • Facebook and WhatsApp were the two dominant sources of new and other platforms like Instagram and Facebook Messenger were also used for news. Online news (56%) and social media specifically (28%) has outpaced print (16%) as the main source of news among respondents below the age of 35.
  • The respondents were found to have a low overall trust in the news media (36%), even in news they personally use (39%). However, they express a higher trust level in news search (45%) and social media (34%) which is more than many other countries.
  • %7% of the respondents expressed concern over whether online news was fake or true, with many expressing concern over hyperpartisan content (51%) and poor journalism (51%) and false news (50%).
  • A significant number of respondents expressed a desire for more personalised mobile news alerts, more online news video and donating support to news and to pay for news in the future.