Online news, newspaper and magazine consumption in Great Britain 2007-2018

There is no use denying that the way people consume newspapers and magazines has changed. As of 2018, more than two thirds of individuals in Great Britain were either reading or downloading online news, newspapers or magazines. This was more than three times the share of online readers as compared to 2007. The share of UK online readers was higher than the European Union (EU 28) average. As of February 2018, BBC News online had the highest share of readers in the UK, with the Guardian and Mail Online coming in as second and third choice.

How do people like their news?

According to an Ofcom study, both television and the internet were more likely to be a source of news over newspapers across all UK countries. In fact, in Northern Ireland, individuals were more likely to receive news via word of mouth rather than through a physical newspaper or printed magazine.

Social media and news

In some European countries, approximately half of news consumers used Facebook as a source of news, while in the UK, it was approximately one quarter of news consumers. In the UK, Facebook was the leading social media network as a source for news, followed by Twitter and YouTube.

Share of individuals reading or downloading online news, newspapers or magazines in Great Britain from 2007 to 2018

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Release date

August 2018


United Kingdom (Great Britain)

Survey time period

2007 to 2018

Number of respondents


Age group

16 years and older

Special properties

within the last 3 months

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

* The source indicates: "The source of this information is the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OLS). The OLS is a multi-purpose survey developed by ONS for use by government departments, other public bodies, charities, academics and the media. It provides a fast, cost effective and reliable way of obtaining information on topics too brief to warrant their own survey."
** The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey is carried out by interviewing a nationally representative sample of households in Great Britain. About 1,800 households are sampled each month and estimates are subject to sampling variability, as are those from all sample surveys.

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Statistics on "Digital news in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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