Social media might be a rising star but when it comes to electioneering political parties might find their time best served by investing in the more traditional mediums of newspapers, according to a new poll of voter attitudes conducted by YouGov.
When 1,600 Britons were quizzed over which platform was most likely to influence their vote some 23% cited printed publications as being something which could sway their vote one way or the other, versus 18% who vouched for social media in a similar way.
Amongst other such nuggets it was found that amongst 18-24 year old’s 51% of respondents claimed social media was the most influential while 28% stuck to tried and tested printed mediums.
Asked whether the ‘advent of the digital age has diminished the influence of newspapers’ fully 58% agreed although 48% considered that they still retained sufficient influence to ‘significantly impact’ the eventual outcome.
Elsewhere it was found that 45% of the voting public still turn to newspapers and magazines for their for their daily fill of political discourse, a proportion nearly mirrored by 18-24 year old’s where social media stood at 42%. Perhaps most troubling for editors some 43% of voters stated their belief that a newspaper’s endorsement of a political party was ‘damaging for democracy’.
YouGov director Darren Yaxley commented: “Even in the digital age traditional news sources such as newspapers and television remain more popular, important and influential than social media.”
“The research also found that although traditional news sources are thought to have had an impact on the recent General Election there is a sense that their power is diminished and overstated.”
The survey was commissioned by the London Press Club as a means of sifting through the wreckage of the June general election to inform a debate titled: ‘It was the readers wot won it.’