Social media overtakes TV as young people’s primary news source

The recent trend for young people to turn their backs on traditional news mediums has crossed a new Rubicon with research showing that social media has overtaken TV bulletins to become their primary access point for current affairs.

Reuters Institute for Journalism Research found that 28 per cent of 18-24 year olds named social media as their primary news source, slightly ahead of TV which was cited by just 24 per cent of respondents.

Moreover, when asked if they used social media as a secondary news source the proportion of positive responses increased to 51 per cent, fuelled by the saturation of mobile phones which have turned the delivery of news on its head.

Top sites for news now start with Facebook which was used by 44 per cent of respondents for such purposes, followed by YouTube at 19 per cent and Twitter on 10 per cent.

Describing such shifts as a ‘second wave of disruption ‘for news organisations the report authors signal that the changing landscape will have ‘potentially profound consequences both for publishers and the future of news production.’

The Reuters report is based on a YouGov survey of 50,000 people across 26 countries, 2,000 of whom were British.

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