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News consumption in South Korea - Facts and Statistics

Around 69.9 percent of South Koreans were reading the news in 2019. Meanwhile, around 78.7 percent of South Koreans stated that they were watching news either in a live broadcast or watch the broadcast as a stream later. The most trusted news brand as of 2020 was JTBC News. JBTC is a nightly newscast by the television network JTBC.

Low trust among consumers

Historically, South Korea has suffered from decades of media censorship. Therefore, it is not surprising that South Koreans are still rather suspicious despite the country’s democratization. According to a study including 40 countries worldwide, South Korea ranked last when it came to trust in the news. Only around 21 percent of South Koreans stated that they trusted the news.

  When asked about the perceived prevalence of so-called “fake news” in news and information provided by newspapers and magazines in South Korea as of February 2019, the majority chose the option “a fair to great extent.” The level of trust in news on social media was lower, with only around 16% of respondents trusting news on social media.

Online news sources

Despite the low level of trust of news on social media, around 45 percent of respondents used YouTube as a news source. Consuming news online has become common among news readers. According to a governmental survey, around 91.1 percent of news readers read online newspapers. Meanwhile, only around ten percent of South Koreans are paying for their digital news.  

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News consumption in South Korea

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Social media as news source

News consumption


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