In line with global trends, European news consumers mostly get their updates from television, radio, online news outlets, and social media. Looking at the overall picture of news in Europe, digital sources are the more popular option.
Online news and the decline of newspapers
The written press now ranks as among the least used platforms to access news in the EU*, after television, radio, social media, and online news platforms. More than triple the share of consumers aged 15 to 24 years old preferred YouTube or other video platforms for news than print, and even among older audiences (those most likely to read print news) the percentage who had done so in the week running to the survey was under 30 percent.
In the United Kingdom, even the reach of leading newspapers is generally under 40 percent, and the paid circulation of national daily newspapers in France is under 100 thousand for several publications. Well-known papers in Italy such as Corriere della Sera and La Repubblica each have under two million readers, whilst their online counterparts rank as the two leading news websites in Italy with over 20 million unique users apiece.
Like others around the world, Europeans are not generally inclined to pay for news. A study showed that most news audiences did not pay for online news content in the last year, with the share who had done so at under 15 percent in a number of countries including Italy, Poland, Germany, and Spain, among others.
European news audiences will continue to access their news online (and most likely for free) as more and more options become available, but trust in news media is not what it could be, not only due to the prevalence of fake news but also as a result of biased or poorly researched content. European respondents to a global survey said that knowing the website or app on which they find news is unbiased and independent is the most important factor in helping them to trust online information. As such, digital news platforms must ensure that their content is fact-checked, trustworthy, and transparent in order to satisfy their readers and improve the quality of the online news landscape. This applies not only to digital-native news sites but also the online counterparts of longstanding newspapers, as well as social media networks. TikTok, popular with younger audiences who could be more susceptible to false information, will be one to watch as news consumption on the platform gains traction.
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