The Reuters Institute have predicted that a period of further media disruption lies ahead in a new digital innovation report.
The Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2014 warns that a second wave of digital innovation will soon engulf traditional news companies which are already struggling to cope with the consequences of the first, particularly the shift toward mobile consumption.
New threats to traditional sources of news are identified as stemming primarily from smartphones and social media where a generational split has now opened up in how people keep tabs on the world.
The report cites smartphones as contributing to obtaining news in more discrete chunks rather than a single dollop from the television or papers, with young people particularly likely to ‘snack’ on news as the opportunity arose.
Commenting on the report Dr David Levy, director of the Reuters Institute, commented: “In some countries such as the UK established news brands have retained their loyalty in the more competitive online environment but the rapid growth of social media as a way of discovering and consuming news has a range of possible ramifications.
“While choice proliferates, consumption may narrow; reliance on recommendations from like-minded friends could mean people are less exposed to a broad news agenda.”
“As news aggregation and sharing take off, consumers may be more conscious of speed and the source of the recommendation than the reliability and trustworthiness of the original news source. Finally as the ways of reading news change, some people may operate in a news echo chamber where they are less likely to be exposed to other content through chance.“