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- According to the latest EU statistics, 72% of Internet users in the European Union now get their news online.
- While more people access information through social media than through news websites, another survey finds.
- It also found that interest in news has fallen sharply globally, from 63% of respondents in 2017 to 51% in 2022.
New figures from the European Union’s statistical office Eurostat confirm that the consumption of online news continues to grow.
Data from 2021 shows that 72% of internet users aged 16-74 in the EU read news sites, newspapers and news magazines online. This is an increase of 2 percentage points compared to 2016.
Breaking down by country, the highest percentages of people reading news online are found in Finland (93%), Lithuania and the Czech Republic (92% each) and Croatia and Greece (90% each). Romania reported the lowest use (59%), followed closely by Germany (62%), France (63%), Italy (64%) and Belgium (67%).
On average, 72% of EU internet users aged 16-74 read news online. Image: Eurostat
Variations in online news consumption in the EU
Eurostat data also shows that between 2016 and 2021, the use of online news increased slightly more among women than among men. Overall, however, men were more likely than women to use the internet to access news content; 74% versus 71%.
At 75%, people aged 25-54 were the most likely to access online news in 2021, while 68% of the 55-74 age group did. This represents an increase of 3 percentage points and 2 percentage points respectively.
Figures also show that the percentage of users has increased the most in rural areas, up to 69% from 65% in 2016. 76% of those living in cities read news online, an increase of 2 percentage points from 2016. People with what is described as a “high level of education” were more likely to access online news (85%) than those with a low level of education. education (57%).
People aged 25 to 54 and city dwellers are more likely to get their news from the Internet. Image: Eurostat
Social media is emerging as a source of information
A separate global survey digs deeper into people’s news habits, revealing more detailed insights. The Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report 2022 surveyed more than 93,000 online news consumers in 46 markets covering half of the world’s population.
The report indicates that the smartphone remains the most important digital device for accessing information in all countries. However, across all devices, direct access to news apps and websites is declining and exposure to news content via social media is increasing.
The report says, in 2022, preference for social media jumped 28% versus 23% for direct access. However, he points out that there are major differences between the markets. Users in the Nordic countries as well as the UK still have strong ties to direct news providers, “while people in Japan and South Korea tend to access news through powerful aggregators and search engines. of research”. Age also makes a big difference, with the 18-24 age group significantly more likely to use social media than a news website or app.
Confidence is down, news avoidance is up
One of the report’s most eye-catching takeaways is the revelation that interest in the news dropped sharply around the world, from 63% in 2017 to 51% in 2022. Trust in news providers has also fallen in almost half of the countries surveyed and increased in just seven. trust information most of the time. Finland remains the country with the highest level of overall trust at 69%. However, trust in the news in the US fell another three percentage points and remains the lowest in the survey at just 26%.
Meanwhile, the proportion of news consumers who report avoiding news, often or sometimes, has risen sharply globally. This type of what the report’s authors describe as “selective avoidance” has doubled in Brazil (54%) and the UK (46%) over the past five years. Many respondents say the news can have a negative effect on their mood.
Interest in climate change news varies by region
The report says “the media often struggles to capture public attention” when it comes to stories about climate change. Interest is highest in Latin America, Asia-Pacific and southern European countries, he reports. Just over half of respondents in Chile, Portugal, the Philippines and Greece say they are interested in news about climate change and the environment.
Interest is lower in Northern and Western Europe, where only 30% of Americans say it’s important to them.
Those with higher levels of income and education are more interested in climate change news, the report says, noting that “perhaps surprisingly, they also tend to be older.”