Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012


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Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012

  2. 2. REUTERS INSTITUTE for the STUDY of JOURNALISMReuters Institute Digital News Report 2012:Tracking the Future of NewsEdited by Nic NewmanSupported by
  3. 3. Research acknowledgements Additional expert analysis and interpretation of the survey data was provided by Steve Schifferes, MarjorieNic Newman is a journalist and digital strategist who Deane Professor of Financial Journalism, City Universityplayed a key role in shaping the BBC’s internet services London (including authorship of sections 1.5 and 1.6),over more than a decade. He was a founding member of and by Lucy Stewart, research manager within the BBC’sthe BBC News website, leading international coverage as audiences team (sections 1.3 and 2.2).World Editor (1997–2001). As Head of Product The editor is also indebted to Peter Kellner and theDevelopment he led digital teams, developing websites, team at YouGov – Adele Gritten, Dan Brilot, Shaunmobile, and interactive TV applications for all BBC Austin, and Angharad Houlden – for questionnaireJournalism sites. Nic is currently a Research Associate at design, data analysis as well as the quality of theirthe Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and a interpretative insights. Also to Richard Addy for hisconsultant on digital media specialising in news, social consistent support and encouragement through thismedia, and mobile. project. July 2012 3
  4. 4. ContentsIntroduction 7Survey Methodology 9Executive Summary 11THE REUTERS INSTITUTE DIGITAL SURVEY 2012 1. News Consumption and Access 20 1.1 Frequency of news access and consumption 21 1.2 Sources and access to news 23 1.3 Where and when do people access news? 28 1.4 Interest in different types of news 31 1.5 Political news and political engagement 33 1.6 Business news consumption 36 2. Online News 39 2.1 Devices to access online news: smartphones, 39 tablets, and e-readers 2.2 Types and formats of news consumed online 42 2.3 Paying for news online and the rise of the app economy 42 2.4 Gateways and discovery of news online 45 2.5 Two-way news: participation and engagement 48ESSAYS The Triumph and Perils of ‘Circus Noir’ Journalism 53 Peter Kellner Evidence on Interest in and Consumption of Foreign News 57 David A. L. Levy Austerity News: the financial crisis and the digital revolution 61 Steve SchifferesPostscript 64Further Reading 64 5
  5. 5. Introduction David A. L. Levy, Director, Reuters InstituteDigital and social media are contributing to audience different in Europe to a country like the United Statesand device fragmentation – and to the disruption of the which frequently sets the terms of the models that have underpinned our information International comparison is a unique feature of thisecosystem. We are swamped with data in this area but survey, which raises many important questions aboutmuch of it is partial, contradictory, or specific to a the role of culture, regulation, and politics on mediamoment in time. To understand the impact of these systems.changes on the quality and plurality of provision, we We hope in the future to extend our internationalneed to be able to look at the most important data polling to a wider range of questions and countries –points in a consistent way over time – in addition to and will be actively looking for partners and sponsors toproviding relevant research on emerging issues. help support that vitally important process. The Reuters Institute Digital Report is a new venture This report draws inspiration from US researchwhich aims to deliver both of these objectives. Each year conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project forwe hope to bring together an annual benchmarked Excellence in Journalism and its associated Internet andinternational survey and a series of essays which help to American Life Project – along with the Oxford Internetcontextualise some of the key themes. In this first year’s Institute’s bi-annual surveys of internet usage in Britain.survey Peter Kellner writes about the changing Here, the combination of robust surveys andrelationship between politicians, the media, and the authoritative commentary has provided invaluablepublic. Steve Schifferes looks at the way in which assistance to academics, regulators, and practitionersdifferent types of media are being used to inform our negotiating the transition to digital. To that end, the fullunderstanding of financial information and I’ll look in data tables are published on our website – freelymore detail at consumption of and interest in available for anybody to use. Over time, this will build upinternational news. into an invaluable resource for researchers and news In the rest of the report, we set out the most organisations, to explain the past as well as point to theimportant results of the survey in the order in which the future. A description of the methodology is availablequestions were asked – setting out the major there, along with the complete questionnaire.consumption patterns, the role of different media In this first year, we are very grateful to ourdevices, attitudes to pay, discovery, and participation. supporters. Ofcom, the BBC, City University London, andEach section is accompanied by some brief contextual the polling company YouGov have variously providedmaterial. financial support, advice in identifying the key issues, Although in this first year the UK has been the major and help in interpreting the results.focus with an extensive online survey, we are delighted I am especially grateful to Nic Newman for launchingthat we’ve been able to benchmark some key questions the survey and leading it to a successful conclusion andin four other countries – France, Germany, Denmark, and to YouGov for their enthusiasm about the project and forthe United States. International comparison is a key part the extensive polling and analysis without which theof the institute’s work and these results illustrate once project would not have been possible.again that the speed and nature of change is often very 7
  6. 6. Survey Methodology Because of what we predict will be the importance This study has been commissioned by the Reuters of tablets going forward, combined with their relativelyInstitute to understand how news is currently being low penetration today, we have oversampled tabletconsumed in the UK with a particular focus on digital users in the UK to ensure that the detailed questions innews consumption and devices used to access the this area are backed by robust numbers. The vastnews. A number of the questions were also asked in majority of the data we quote in this report is based onFrance, Germany, Denmark, and US to provide an the nationally representative sample only. We have madeinternational comparison on key measures. This research it clear where we are quoting data based on the tabletwas conducted online by YouGov in April 2012. owner boost sample. This is an online survey – and as such the results will UK US France Germany Denmarkunder-represent older people’s consumption habits, Nat rep 2173 814 1011 970 1002namely use of newspapers, radio and TV. Where relevant, Tablet owner boost 314 N/a N/a N/a N/awe have tried to make this clear within the text. Going Total 2487 814 1011 970 1002forward these issues will become less of a factor asonline penetration grows but it should be stressed that As this survey deals with news consumption, we filteredthe core purpose of this survey is to track the activities out anyone who said that they had not consumed anyand changes within the digital space – as well as gaining news in the past month. This was 18% of the initialunderstanding about how offline media and online sample in the UK. The quotas were applied to themedia are used together. remaining sample to ensure that it was representative of In terms of the UK data, the sample was weighted to the UK internet-using population.targets set on age and gender, region, newspaperreadership, and social grade to reflect the onlinepopulation which Ofcom estimates at 77% of the totalUK population.1 From Ofcom, Communications Market Report (Aug. 2011), 193, ‘Internet take-up’. 1 9
  7. 7. Executive Summary Nic Newman, Editor, Reuters Institute Digital ReportThis first Reuters Institute Digital Report provides a • The tablet is emerging as an important device forfascinating overview of news consumption in the news consumers. Of tablet owners, 58% use thetransition to digital across the UK and four other device to access news every week in the UK. Theycountries. The value of this kind of longitudinal study will are more likely to pay for news content and overbuild over time as we see changes in the data year on 40% say they find the experience better than ayear and we hope to increase the size and scope of our PC. In the UK, we find that some newspaperinternational survey – but already we can identify a brands with paid apps do significantly better on anumber of emerging themes, which will be of interest to tablet than on the open internet – in terms ofanyone concerned about the future of journalism and its overall market share.role in supporting a civic society. • More widely, consumers remain resistant to paying for news in digital form. Propensity to pay Key findings for online news is lowest in the UK (4%) • There are significant differences in how regularly compared to the other markets and highest in people keep up with the news across our Denmark (12%). surveyed countries. Almost 9 in 10 Germans • One in five of our UK sample share news stories access the news at least once a day compared each week via email or social networks – but in with only 3 in 4 people in the United Kingdom. general Europeans are less enthusiastic than • The rapid switch from print to digital in the Americans about both the sharing of news and United States is not being replicated exactly in other forms of digital participation. European countries. Germany is showing the • In the UK, news about politics is perceived to be strongest allegiance to traditional viewing and less important – and celebrity news more important reading habits and has the lowest levels of – compared to the other countries surveyed. internet news use. • There is more interest in business and especially • Online is the most frequently accessed form of economic news in the UK and the US than in the news for young internet users – with television European countries surveyed. remaining most popular for older groups. In • A relatively small number of people are general those who’ve grown up with the internet disproportionately important in the creation, are showing markedly different consumption consumption, and distribution of news. We’ve habits online. They discover and share more news identified a small group of news absorbed users through social networks and show less loyalty to in the UK who access significantly more sources traditional media platforms. of news, are more likely to comment on news, • Smartphones are starting to play a significant role and twice as likely to share news. in the consumption of news. One-third of Danish internet users access news stories via a connected mobile every week. More than a quarter of those in the US and UK do the same. 11
  8. 8. Background and market context In the United States, the regular Pew surveys have tracked how consumers have taken to internet newsThis survey comes at a time of continuing and rapid over the years – the most recent shows that online hasupheaval for the news industry. The internet has overtaken newspapers as a regular source of news. Butdisrupted business models, particularly for newspapers these surveys also show that interactive services are notand magazines – with each new technical development being used as an alternative to traditional broadcastaccelerating the decline in traditional print circulation mechanisms such as television but in a complementary(see chart below). way. At the same time, the online picture is getting more complex, with smartphones, tablets, and e-readersUK annual press circulation (m)5 year CAGRs -0.9% (1990) -1.4% (1995) -1.7% (2000) -1.6% (2005) -4.3% (2010) -8.7% (2015f ) extending the range of choices of access – and social UK dial-up 34% 68% 75% 6,000 internet broadband broadband Smartphone media joining traditional news sources as a place where launches household HH; mobile penetration 5,000 (HH) penetration internet takes off the news itself gets created and consumed. 4,000 3,000 Part of the aim of this Reuters Institute Report is to 2,000 understand much more about this complex eco-system 1,000 as it develops and to see how these US and UK trends 0 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 2009 2011f 2013f 2015f map to a wider range of countries and cultures. Regionals Popular nationals Quality nationals Consumer magazinesSource: Presentation by Claire Enders, Leveson Inquiry Seminar on ‘CompetitivePressures on the Press’, 6 Oct. 2011. Change is not equally distributed across countriesIn the United States, Pew’s Project for Excellence inJournalism has predicted a future of shrinking One of the most striking findings of this Report is thenewsrooms, less frequent publication, and more papers differences that exist between countries in terms of theclosing altogether.2 We are seeing similar if less dramatic transition to digital. In terms of consumption, the US andtrends in several other parts of the developed world, UK seem to be adopting similar models with heavyalthough the impact of the internet on legacy media adoption of online sources of news, whilst some otherappears to vary greatly by country.3 European countries are showing a much stronger At the same time, we have seen a major expansion in allegiance to traditional media.the use of the internet for news and information. Germany shows a particularly strong loyalty toAccording to a recent global TNS survey, news now printed products – with 68% of the survey samplecomes second only to email in terms of daily activity4 accessing a newspaper or magazine for news eachand the global nature of the internet has opened up the week. Traditional news bulletins on radio (68%) andpossibility for consumers of a much richer range of television (87%) also draw the vast majority of thesources – available 24 hours a day, at the click of the population to watch or listen each week – whilst onlymouse or the touch of a finger. 61% access online sources in an average week. Weekly access of news by country UK USA GERMANY FRANCE DENMARK TV 76% 69% 87% 80% 81% ONLINE 82% 86% 61% 77% 82% PRINT 54% 45% 68% 57% 57% RADIO 45% 33% 68% 43% 40% Q3 Which of the following news sources have you used in the last week? Base All UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814)) 2Project for Excellence in Journalism, The Search for a New Business Model, March 2012: 3See D. A. L. Levy and R. K. Nielsen, The Changing Business of Journalism and its Implications for Democracy (Oxford: RISJ, 2010). 4TNS Global Digital Life (2010): email =75%, news = 55%, social = 46% daily access for these activities (n=48,804);
  9. 9. Executive SummaryThese differences may be partly attributable to the Level of interest in types of news by countrymedia environment in many European countries where UK USA GERMANY FRANCE DENMARK Domestic news 74% 53% 61% 66% 75%a predominantly non-English-language press and International news 48% 44% 64% 54% 65%broadcast environment has reduced the impact of Local news about my town or city 50% 56% 50% 36% 41%external competition. But we also see other factors at News about my region 42% 28% 62% 46% 32% Business and financial news 19% 22% 17% 11% 28%play. In Germany the largely regionally based printed News about the economy 42% 52% 34% 33% 36%press appears to have stronger roots and has received a Entertainment and celebrity news 21% 16% 14% 14% 9%measure of protection through regulation, restricting the Health and education news 27% 27% 26% 27% 24% Art and culture news 10% 11% 8% 19% 12%extent of broadcasters’ activities on the internet. Sports News 37% 24% 33% 24% 24%Newspaper websites dominate across much of Europe News about country politics 37% 63% 55% 57% 56%as they do in France – where there has also been limited Science and technology 23% 27% 28% 21% 24%government support for print – whilst in the United Q2 Which of the following types of news is most important to you? Choose up to five. Base UK (n=2173) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814)Kingdom the websites of TV and radio news providers Denmark (n=1002)do best. The BBC invested early in a significant newspresence on the internet and has built up a formidable David Levy reflects on these differences in his essay onmarket share of more than double its nearest competitor. p. 57 whilst Peter Kellner explores politicalOnline news sources by type disenchantment in the UK in his essay on p. 53. See further details on news interest across countries in section 1.4, p. 31 UK USA GERMANY DENMARK FRANCE Although the news industry has been disrupted in every Websites of broadcasters 56% 46% 25% 51% 20% country, our survey suggests that the media structures, Websites of newspapers 38% 50% 30% 56% 43% the geography, and the culture of individual countries Other news sources 29% 53% 26% 28% 36% seem to have a very significant bearing on both the Social media and blogs 18% 36% 18% 23% 17% pace of change and the winners and losers.Q3 Which of the following news sources have you used in the last week?Base All UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA(n=814) The rise of smartphones and tablets forOverall we see traditional media brands picking up the online access to newsmajority of the digital audience in most countries. Themain exception to this rule is in the United States where A second key theme running through this report is thewebsites like the Huffington Post and entertainment and rapid consumer adoption of more personal and flexibletechnology blogs like Gawker have attracted significant consumer devices which are freeing internet access fromaudiences alongside more traditional web portals like the home and the office. Smartphone, tablet, andYahoo and AOL. e-reader sales have all exploded over the last few years. Blogs and social media are much more regularly In our UK sample of internet news users, 53% say theyused in the United States than in Europe (36% use these use a smartphone and 15% use a tablet – but our surveyas a news source every week compared with an average also shows how extensively some of these devices areof 20% in European countries). being used for news consumption across countries. Our survey also reveals differences in the level of News access by device across countriesinterest in different types of news across countries. In UK USA GERMANY FRANCE DENMARKgeneral, people in the UK are more interested in Computer 74% 87% 80% 79% 78%celebrity news and less interested in domestic politics Mobile 28% 28% 21% 20% 32% Tablet 8% 11% 5% 6% 13%than those in the other countries surveyed. Germans are E-reader 0% 3% 1% 1% 1%most interested in regional news (62%) – no doubt Smart TV 1% 3% 4% 2% 3%influenced by their federal political structure – whilst Q4a Which of the following have you used to access the news in the last week? Base UK (n=2173) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814) Denmarkpeople in the US are much more focused on news from (n=1002)their town or city (56%). The British and Germans seemto follow sport most closely whereas the French are the Whilst computers still dominate online usage acrossmost interested in art and culture. People in Denmark countries, mobiles now stand at over 20% in all theshow the strongest interest in international news (65%), countries surveyed and peaks in Denmark at 32%.with those in the UK and the US showing the least Tablets still account for a relatively small percentage ofinterest (48% and 44%). consumption but the sector is set to grow quickly. Our 13
  10. 10. Top UK brands onlinedetailed data on tablets and smartphones are only Accessed weeklyavailable for the UK, but show that 10% of the 47% who BBC News 58%don’t already have smartphones are thinking of buying one Sky News 15%– as are 19% of the 85% that don’t already own a tablet. Yahoo News 15% Our UK data support the recent findings of the latest Local newspaper 14%digital survey from the Pew Research Center in the US Mail/Mail on Sunday 13%which suggests that these devices are adding to the Guardian 10%news experience – rather than replacing other ways of Q8a/b Which, if any, of the following online brands have you used to access news in the last week? Base All (n=2173)access.5 The vast majority of mobile users in our surveyuse computers to access the news and also use the Top UK brands tabletnews more often throughout the day. The same is true of Accessed weeklytablet owners who typically use a rich range of ways of BBC News 73%accessing the news. Guardian* 21% Our UK survey data show the tablet emerging as a Sky News 20% Mail/Mail on Sunday 18%particularly important device for news: Local Newspaper 17% • 58% of tablet users access news from the device Telegraph/Sunday Telegraph* 16% every week (68% in the last month). Yahoo News 14% • Tablet owners access a larger number of news Times/Sunday Times* 10% sources than other online users. Base Tablet owners (boost) (n=314) • 44% of tablet users say the device provides a *Publications with a paid tablet proposition or paid after free trial better experience for news than a traditional Tablet users also consume more online news compared computer. with offline equivalents. For the news industry these • Tablet owners are significantly more likely to pay figures will be very encouraging given that, for many for news. publishers, long-term survival depends on building up cross-platform subscriptions as the move to digitalAmongst tablet owners gathers pace. A recent survey showed that within two years only 35% of US Economist readers over 40 plan to Computer 84% continue buying the paper in print.6 Television 83% Generally, however, there is a still a widespread reluctance across all our surveyed countries to pay for Tablet 68% online news. In the UK only 1% have paid for online news in the last week and just 4% say they have ever Radio 65% paid. People in Denmark were most likely to pay for digital news, with the British users most reluctant. Printed publication 60% Top UK brands online Mobile phone 43% UK USA FRANCE GERMANY DENMARK Ever paid for digital 4% 9% 8% 6% 12% Smart TV 5% news? Q16a Have you paid for digital news content? E-reader 3% Base UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814)Q4b Which of the following have you used to access the news in the lastmonth? Base Tablet owners (Boost) (n=314) Despite this we continue to see intense activity in this area with a number of general sites now setting upOur tablet-boosted sample of users in the UK also shows paywalls and experimenting with paid-for newsa very different ranking in terms of the most popular applications on tablets. It will be interesting to watchweekly news sources – with newspapers that have how attitudes to pay shift in the years to come.charged for ‘apps’ (Guardian, Telegraph and The Times) See section 2.3: Paying for news online and the rise of the app economy, p. 42doing much better in percentage terms than on theopen internet. 5The role of mobile devices: and-news-consumption-some-good-signs-for-journalism/infographic. group-interview.14
  11. 11. Executive SummaryDiscovery and sharing of news: the • 28% of our US sample share news via socialgrowing importance of social media networks every week – twice the proportion of those in the UK.A further theme that emerges from this survey is the • Facebook is the most important network forway in which people discover news is changing – with news. It accounts for over half of all news sharingsocial media starting to challenge search engines as a in the UK (55%) followed by email (33%) andprimary way of finding news. Twitter (23%). Looking at our UK data, we can see that 20% (one in • Other social networks such as Google+ andfive) now come across a news story through a social LinkedIn are still relatively niche for like Facebook and Twitter, with young peoplemuch more likely to access news this way (43%). In addition, our survey indicates that a small number ofSearch vs social discovery by age heavy news users have a disproportionate influence on the sharing of news. We created a segmentation using a News via search News via social mixture of frequency of access and consumption and 43% identified a group of news absorbed (7% of the sample) 33% who share news more than twice as often as the overall 25% internet news population (46% each week compared with 20%). They also proportionately use Twitter far more 11% heavily than any other social networks. This backs up a growing body of evidence around the special 16–24 Over 45 importance of Twitter for news.9Q18 Thinking about how you FIND news online, which are the main waysthat you come across news stories? Choose up to five. Base All UK (n=2173) See more on news absorbed, news mainstream and news light16-24s (n=342), over 45s (n=1112) segmentations, p.22Overall search engines (30%) are still more important Against this background it is not surprising that newsthan social media (20%) but the fact that young people organisations have been focusing their social mediaare almost twice as likely to discover a news story strategies on Facebook and Twitter in the past 12through social media rather than search marks a months. In particular, online discovery and sharingsignificant generational change. And across all our age patterns are playing a growing part in customerranges, 57% say they are more likely to click on a news acquisition and monetisation. When the New York Timeslink that comes from someone they know compared introduced its digital paywall in March 2011, it pioneeredwith a link from elsewhere. an approach that made special concessions for users These developments have been fuelled by a greater from key social networks (and search engines) to ensurefocus on news by Facebook in particular, with the that content can still be discovered and shared freely.development of social plugins for news sites and the This ‘semi-permeable membrane’ has now become alaunch of social newsreading apps during 2011. These standard approach for most companies operating paidallow the sharing a news story or video based on what for digital’ve read – often known as ‘frictionless sharing’. Partly See section 2.4, Gateways and discovery of news online, p. 45as a result, news organisations like the Washington Post,the Guardian, and Yahoo have reported significant upliftsin traffic – with the Guardian reporting at one stage thatreferrals from Facebook had outstripped those fromGoogle search.7 The Economist says that almost 10% ofits site traffic now comes from social media.8 7 Tanya Cordrey, Director of Digital Development, Guardian News and Media, at the Guardian Changing Media Summit, London, March 2012: It is not only that audiences are discovering news social media, they are also sharing news in cordrey. 8Eric Baumes, chief technology officer for The Economists online edns, at thelarger and larger numbers. Here are some of the annual conference sponsored by the Software & Information Industry Association, Feb. 2012:headlines emerging from our data: 2139958/0. 9 Nic Newman, #UKelection2010, Mainstream Media and the Role of the Internet: How Social and Digital Media Affected the Business of Politics and Journalism (Oxford: RISJ, 2010). 15
  12. 12. The continued importance of news brands Given the problems in converting audiences to revenueonline online, none of this guarantees the survival of traditional news organisations but it should offer a little Despite the continued importance of search and the encouragement that quality journalism combined withrise of social media, our survey contains a number of strong brand positioning and effective delivery canclues that show trusted news brands still play a provide value in a world of multiple sources, personal,dominant role in news provision. Even in terms of and social media.finding news, our UK respondents said they were much It is also striking that the number of sources usedmore likely to think about a branded news website than online is still relatively modest for most people. Ouranything else. survey shows that 78% used three or fewer sources ofGateways to news news each week, with only 13% using more than four sources. Browsing a news website/mobile site 51% Sources of online news accessed per week 1 source 2-3 sources More than 4 General search engine 30% 48% Site that aggregates other news links 22% 30% Social network like 20% Facebook or Twitter 13%Q18 Thinking about how you FIND news online, which are the main waysthat you come across news stories? Base All UK (n=2173) Online usersAlthough we didn’t ask the question about discovery of Q14 In a typical week how many different ONLINE news providers do younews in other countries in this year’s survey, other use including traditional and non traditional sources, specialist digital publications etc? Base All (n=2173)international studies have drawn similar conclusions. Thelatest Pew study in the United States finds that ‘the We find that tablet users and heavy news users doreputation or brand of a news organisation, a very access more sources but even here the majority usedtraditional idea, is the most important factor in fewer than three sources each week. In our newsdetermining where consumers go for news and this is absorbed group, 57% used three sources or less and 36%even truer on mobile devices than on laptops or used more than four sources each week. Even with adesktops’. 10 Our own UK data are not quite as clear on strong appetite for news and an unlimited range ofthat last point, but they do show that brand is at least as sources to choose from, it seems that constraints ofimportant on a mobile or tablet as on a computer. habit and preference along with the limitations of time Further evidence comes from the market position of are playing a role in focusing access and maintaining theleading news brands in the UK. In most cases market power of news brands.share is lower online because of the greater levels ofchoice and competition, but two publications – the News as a two-way processGuardian and the Telegraph – have managed to build astronger market share online, attracting new younger Unlike broadcast technologies, the internet wasaudiences in the process. designed at the outset to facilitate two-way dialogue. ItTraditional and online use of selected UK News brands is only in the last few years, however, that powerful and simple software tools have emerged to make that TRADITIONAL USE ONLINE BBC News 69% 58% promise real and this has significantly affected the way ITV News 31% 7% news is gathered, processed, and distributed. Sky News 22% 15% With the upheavals in the Middle East over the last Mail/Mail on Sunday 14% 13% 18 months, ordinary people have been able to capture Guardian 4% 10% events on mobile phones and distribute raw news Telegraph 4% 6% instantly using global networks like Facebook, YouTube,Q8a/b Which, if any, of the following have you used to access news in the 10Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, State of the Medialast week, via traditional (Radio/TV/Print) and via which online means? (2012): All UK (n=2173) consumption-some-good-signs-for-journalism.16
  13. 13. Executive Summaryand Twitter – as well as email. Across the world in many openly. We’ll find out more as this longitudinal surveyother cases, citizens are finding their digital voices – and takes its course.the speed and power of these networks is putting new In terms of demographics, once again we can seepressure on governments, businesses, and traditional those who have grown up with digital technologies (16–institutions. 24s) engaging with news in different ways to the rest of There is now a huge variety of ways in which people the population. They are more likely to comment on acan participate in news coverage, from taking part in news story via a social network (17%) than on the pagesonline polls or petitions, commenting on news stories, of a traditional news site (7%) and much more likely toposting pictures or videos, writing blogs, or organising talk about a news story using one-to-one digitalpolitical campaigns. Our survey across five countries communication (21%) than older groups.provides a rich set of data around how many people are Overall these data tend to suggest that the newtaking part and which activities are most popular. generation is more comfortable creating and commenting on content on its own terms and in its ownWeekly digital participation across countries spaces – rather than within the confines of a mainstream UK USA GERMANY FRANCE DENMARK media world. 42% 69% 41% 60% 45% Our UK survey data also show: • People who use a mobile phone as their mainQ21b During an average week in which of the following ways do you share way of accessing news online are five times moreor participate in news coverage? % selecting one of nine optionsBase UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA likely to send a picture to a news organisation(n=814)) than those who mainly use a computer. At a headline level we can see that each week almost • Heavy news users – our so-called news absorbed70% of our US sample participate or engage in the news group – are far more likely to comment on newsusing at least one of nine options outlined in our survey stories via social networks (21%) and on news– compared with less than 50% in most of our surveyed sites (16%) than our mainstream group.European countries. Of the European counties, France is • Signing a petition was the most common form ofthe most engaged, with 40% taking part in an online political online engagement, with 44% sayingpoll each week and 21% commenting on news stories in they had done networks. The French election campaign was • Nearly 6 out of 10 young people say they usedunderway when our survey was conducted, so this may the internet ‘to get more involved in politics orexplain the slightly higher figures there. express a political opinion’.Top ways of digital participation across countries See section 2.5, Two-way news: participation and engagement, p. 48 UK USA FRANCE GERMANY DENMARK Vote in an online poll 19% 41% 40% 18% 22% Comment on a news story Conclusions 14% 27% 21% 12% 17% on Social Networks Engage in a one-to-one conversation about a news The overall picture painted by the data in this survey is of 13% 30% 15% 23% 22% story (e.g. social media, instant messenger) an increasingly complex media landscape, where digital Comment about a news 10% 25% 16% 9% 8% media are not replacing other forms of media but are story on a website Post or send a news-related layered on top. picture or video to a Social 5% 15% 11% 5% 6% Network site Tablet owners are still buying and reading printedQ21b During an average week in which of the following ways do you share news publications and watching TV news in pretty muchor participate in news coverage? the same proportions as non-tablet owners – and theBase UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA(n=814) Note: Only five of the original nine options are shown in this table same applies to other devices. Young people who areMore widely, however, it is striking how different the addicted to their mobile phones continue to consumebehaviour is in the United States. This could be because at least some printed newspapers and magazines.the social media revolution started earlier there and People are using traditional media and non-traditionaleventually perhaps all countries will see these levels of media. They are consuming passively and actively atparticipation. On the other hand, there could be cultural different times and in different contexts. The balancefactors affecting take up. Europeans may just be more and media mix may be changing but this is not a zeroreticent about sharing their opinions so freely and sum game. 17
  14. 14. Against this background, it is not surprising to see closer and deeper understanding of what audiencesmore and more news organisations declaring ‘digital first’ need at any moment in time.strategies, reorganising structures and workflows for a In that sense we hope that this Reuters Institutemultiplatform world. As distribution fragments and Report will help to build a deep understanding of whatcompetition becomes more intense it will become more those changes are and how news organisations canand more important for news brands to provide respond most effectively to the new opportunities.coherent services that work across platforms – with a18
  15. 15. Reuters InstituteDigital Survey2012 1 News Consumption and Access 1.1 Frequency of news access and consumption 1.2 Sources and access to news 1.3 Where and when do people access the news? 1.4 Interest in different types of news 1.5 Political news and political engagement 1.6 Business news consumption 2 Online News 2.1 Devices to access online news: smartphones, tablets, and e-readers 2.2 Types and formats of news consumed online 2.3 Paying for news online and the rise of the app economy 2.4 Gateways and discovery of news online 2.5 Two-way news: participation and engagement
  16. 16. REUTERS INSTITUTE DIGITAL SURVEY 2012In this section, we publish the key data tables from our engagement in the news? How is the internet affecting2012 survey – broadly in the order in which the the competitive landscape? Is it the same big playersquestions were asked. For each section, a researcher has who are dominating news provision or are we seeing aprovided a short piece of context at the start and has shift of power away from big media companies towardsselected the most interesting charts and tables – greater diversity of provision and use?illustrated where relevant with comments to explain the These issues are a matter of great interest because asignificance of a particular element. well-informed population is considered an underpinningThe full questionnaire and raw data tables are available of democracy – along with a strong and independentonline from the Reuters Institute website. media sector. We hear from the newspaper industry in particular that the internet is undermining their business1. News Consumption and Access models, making it harder to deliver the type of journalism that can hold politicians and businesses to Part of the aim of this Reuters Institute survey is to account – but to what extent might new forms ofunderstand more about what, how, where, and when political participation and sources of accountability benews is accessed online, specifically within the context emerging through social media and non-traditionalof the wider media landscape in the UK and in four other routes?countries – Denmark, France, Germany, and the United This survey does not answer these questions but theStates. following pages offer a rich set of clues to an emerging How is the rise of the internet affecting traditional and increasingly complex media landscape. Over timemeans of access? Is the move to digital and mobile we hope to build a fuller picture of how these pieces fitleading to consumption of more news or different types together over time and across a wider range of countriesof news? How is the two-way nature of digital and news cultures.communications affecting levels of participation and20
  17. 17. 1. News Consumption and Access1.1 Frequency of news access 1.1a Daily news access by countryand consumption 89% 88% Our survey of online users showssignificant differences in how 82%frequently news is accessed by 78%consumers in different countries 75%across all platforms – TV, radio andonline. Around 9 in 10 Germansaccess the news at least once a daycompared with only 3 in 4 people in Germany Denmark USA France UKthe United Kingdom. Q1c Typically, how often do you access news. By news we mean UK, international, national, regional/local news and other topical events accessed via radio, TV, newspaper or online? Base UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814) In general, daily news 1.1b Daily news access by genderconsumption is significantly higher GERMANY DENMARK USA FRANCE UKamongst males in all of our surveyed Male 91% 92% 86% 81% 84%countries. Daily news consumption Female 88% 83% 78% 74% 67%is particularly low amongst womenin the UK at just 67% – that’s almost20 percentage points behind theinterest shown by women inGermany. Age is also a factor in how 1.1c Daily news access by ageregularly people keep up with news. 16–24 25–34 35–44 45–54 55+Young people in Germany (83%)and the UK (73%) are most likely to 96% 96% 93% 94%check in once a day or more 83% 82% 83% 86% 84% 87% 87% 84% 82% 82% 80% 78% 78%whereas those in France and 76% 73% 75% 71% 68% 70% 65%Denmark are least interested in 63%keeping up (65% and 63%respectively). In general, interest in news tendsto be highest amongst the middleaged and older generations. In Germany Denmark USA France UKDenmark and the USA older peopleare highly engaged (96% and 87%). 21
  18. 18. 1. News Consumption and Access1.1d Daily news access by UK region Drilling down on the UK figures Average London South East Midlands North Wales Scotland N Ireland in particular we can also see that Several there are significant regional 45% 52% 45% 40% 48% 41% 54% 44% 62% times a day differences in daily consumption. Once a day 29% 27% 28% 28% 28% 33% 30% 31% 22% People living in Northern Ireland are most likely to look at news several times a day (62%) – no doubt driven by the long running and continuing concerns about the political and security situation. Those in the North of England seem more comfortable1.1e UK Daily news access by device with catching up once a day (33%) TV Radio Computer Mobile Tablet or even less frequently than that. 68% Overall there is little difference 60% between TV, radio and computer in 53% 51% 48% terms of frequency of access but the emergence of new personal and 29% 29% 27% portable devices such as 25% 19% smartphones and tablets seem to be encouraging more regular checking in with news. Several times a day Once a dayQ1c Typically, how often do you access news. By news we mean UK, international, national,regional/local news and other topical events accessed via radio, TV, newspaper or online?Base UK (n=2173) Note – Relates to those who have accessed via these devices in last week UK news segmentation News use is not just about frequency, it is also about the 1.1f Categorisation of online news users* volume of consumption. For this study, we have combined the answers to a number of questions to come up with ways of identifying the levels of attention and consumption. We’ll refer back to these groupings throughout this study, but in general we can see there is a News absorbed News mainstreamers News light Tends to be Male 25-34 All ages Female 21-34 small, mainly male, well-educated, Likes International, political news Might like BBC, Mail, Celebrity news – 31% Tablet owning (30%) Online, Yahoo Use 1 news source – 43% and engaged group of news users Twitter using (44%) Facebook using 67% 3-4x more likely to pay Might like Sun, MSN, C5 that likes to participate in news, that Might like Sky, FT, C4 News uses a variety of online devices to access the news, and might be *These percentages relate to our sample of online users who say they are interested in news. Assuming 50m UK adults, 77% internet use and 18% saying they are not interested in news this suggests raw prepared to pay for the privilege. numbers as follows: News absorbed (2.2m), News mainstream (22m), News light (6.9m). There is a slightly larger group of • News absorbed: These are people who access the news several times a day and who say they consume in total more than three hours of news each day. This accounts for infrequent, disengaged users and around 7% of our sample of internet news users. then the vast majority are • News mainstreamers: These are people who generally check in at least once a day and who say they consume between 30 minutes and three hours a day or who check somewhere in the middle – still in once a day but consume more than three hours a day. This group accounts for mainly using television and radio for around 70% of our sample. • News light: These are people who consume less than 30 minutes a day on average news but regularly supplementing and access once a day or less often. This group makes up around 22% of the sample. with online sources.22
  19. 19. 1. News Consumption and Access1.2 Sources and access to news It still helps to understand and radio sets, we now have computers,This question is becoming more and track how different groups consume laptops, mobile phones, tablets, andmore complex. People have television, radio, online and print – e-readers – all able to access newstraditionally sourced the news but this is no longer enough and in content in text, audio, and video.through television and radio news this section we’ve tried to break the Increasingly in an era ofchannels or branded newspapers or categories down further. It’s convergence these connectedmagazines. Now we have online becoming increasingly important to devices can also view live TVchannels too, but these are harder understand how news brands channels on high-definition screens,to define and categorise. They perform across different platforms, whilst ‘smart televisions’ can accessincorporate both traditional what the relative strengths are of internet content alongsidebranded media channels as well as each channel and at what time of traditional broadcasts. This is thenon-traditional media such as day they get most traffic. multiplatform, multi-device worldaggregators and blogs. In recent Another dimension that we that is emerging today. Over theyears we’ve seen the rise of personal explore in this section is the next few years we hope to be ableand social media channels not just explosion in the number of devices to map how news usage is affectedas means of communication but as through which news can now be by these changes.a source of news too. accessed. Alongside television and In looking at weekly news use,we can see that television andonline are by far the most regularlyused sources for all ages anddemographics in the UK. Our surveysuggests that online is accessed by 1.2a UK Weekly news access by sourcemore people – but it should be TV Online Print Radionoted that our internet-basedsurvey does not take into account 88% 84% 82%the 20% of the UK population who 76% 77%are not online. Factoring this in, TV islikely to be ahead with all groups 61% 61%except the 16–24s. 54% 55% 49% Indeed it is striking that amongst 45%those surveyed younger peoplewatch far less television news (61%)and access far more online news 22%each week (88%) than the group ofover 45s. Only 22% listen to radionews bulletins or programmescompared with 55% of the older All 16–24 Over 45group. It is also interesting to note Q3 Which of the following news sources have you used in the last week? Base UK (n=2173) 16-24 (n=342), over 45 (n=1112)however that many 16–24s say theydo read print newspapers andmagazines (49%) even if they don’talways pay for them. 23
  20. 20. 1. News Consumption and Access1.2b Weekly news sources breakdown At a more granular level, we can 66% also see that, amongst our online 56% sample of news users in the UK, 50% 45% television news programmes and 42% 38% bulletins remain the single most 29% used source but the websites of broadcasters like the BBC and Sky 18% 14% are not far behind. Television Websites of TV Printed Radio news 24 hour news Websites of Other web news Social media Printed news and radio Newspapers programmes television newspapers such as your ISP & blogs Magazines programmes companies such or bulletins channels such as and news or aggregators or bulletins as BBC News Sky News or BBC magazines like MSN or and Sky News News channel YahooQ3 Which of the following news sources have you used in the last week?Base All (n=2173)1.2c TV programmes vs broadcaster websites by age TV news bulletins/programmes 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55+ are used more by older generations TV news and less by younger people whilst 51% 52% 61% 71% 79% programmes/bulletins the exact opposite is true for Websites (and mobile sites) of websites of newspapers and newspapers and news 48% 40% 38% 37% 34% magazines magazines.1.2d Weekly news access by source and country Looking at different media usage TV Online Print Radio across countries, we see again marked differences in the media mix 86% 87% 82% 80% 77% 81% 82% that is deployed. The US, UK, and 76% 69% 68% 68% Denmark show the greatest 61% 54% 57% 57% enthusiasm for online news, while 45% 45% 42% 40% Germany shows a particularly strong 33% loyalty to printed products (68%). Online news usage in Germany is lowest of our countries at just 61% whilst TV broadcasts draw the vast UK USA Germany France Denmark majority of the population to watchQ3 Which of the following news sources have you used in the last week?Base All UK (n=2173) Denmark (n=1002) France (n=1011) Germany (n=970) USA (n=814)) each week (87%). It will be interesting to see if these differences persist or if the Anglo-Saxon model of strong online adoption gains ground in the rest of Europe over time.24
  21. 21. 1. News Consumption and AccessDevices to access the news 1.2e Weekly access by device In terms of access points, our News absorbed News light All online news usersdata show that the computer andtelevision are neck and neck as most 91% 85%important in terms of weekly access 75% 77%– but new internet devices are 74%making a significant impact. 61% 58% 52%Smartphones that connect to the 48% 48%internet have only been around for a 43%few years but already the 28%percentage of people accessing 17% 19% 23%news weekly via a mobile phone in 20% 8%the UK has reached 28%. The tablet 3%is also emerging as a significant TV Computer Radio Print Mobile Tabletdevice for news consumption at 8%. Q4a Which of the following have you used to access the news in the last week?The impact of these devices is Base (n=2162)explored in more detail in latersections. Layering our news absorbed andnews light segments on top of theoverall sample we can see thatheavy news users are more likely toaccess via computer and otheronline means. Of our newsabsorbed group, 23% access news 1.2f Traditional vs Online routes to newsvia a tablet device, compared with Via online routes Via traditional routesjust 3% of the news light group. BBC News 69% 58%Top UK brands for accessing the ITV News 31% 7%news: winners and losers A local newspaper 26%Overall, traditional routes are still 14%used more than online ones. Use of Sky News 22% 15%BBC via radio and television is Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday 14%around 10 percentage points higher 13%than via BBC News online. Taking Sun/Sun on Sunday 14% 7%into account this is an internet 12%survey and adjusting for the total UK A free City paper 3%population would produce an even 11% Daily Mirror/Sunday Mirror 3%bigger difference. Some providers have struggled 10% Commercial radio news 2%to make an impact online. ITV is a 9% Channel 4 Newshuge player in television news but 2%has not focused heavily on digital Daily/Sunday Times 6% 2%news until now. As a result we find 4%its reach is equivalent to a new Guardian 10%online player like MSN. 4% Daily/Sunday Telegraph 6% Q8a/b Which, if any, of the following have you used to access news in the last week, via traditional routes (Radio/TV/Print) and via which online means? Base All (n=2173) 25