General public tunes out of daily news consumption

The number of people turning to TV, radio and newspapers to get information on a daily basis has fallen substantially in the past two years.

Open Road's Rebecca Reilly: "Both TV and radio have seen a dramatic decline"
Open Road's Rebecca Reilly: "Both TV and radio have seen a dramatic decline"

The reduction in news consumption, which is only partly compensated for by the rise of Facebook, appears to present a challenge to those seeking to influence Britons.

The change in behaviour is captured by a survey commissioned by Open Road from Populus that compares the habits of the public and a narrower group of opinion formers.

The proportion of the public getting information from national newspapers in print every day fell from 49 per cent in the same study in 2011 to 37 per cent in this year’s study.

Those getting their information from national newspapers online remained unchanged at 30 per cent.

Radio and TV were also severely impacted, dropping respectively from 61 per cent to 47 per cent and from 90 per cent to 77 per cent.

It is possible that the public is accessing information provided by these media on other platforms such as Facebook, which rose from 34 per cent to 45 per cent.

However, the survey did not go as far as investigating what kind of information people were getting on the social network.

It was striking that their use of Google, another platform for accessing news and information, dropped from 65 per cent to 60 per cent.

While Twitter is now an everyday news source for 55 per cent of opinion formers, only 15 per cent of the public use it every day, up from 13 per cent in the 2011 study.

Rebecca Reilly, Open Road director, said: "While our data show that both TV and radio have seen a dramatic decline in daily news consumption by the general public in just two years, Google and Facebook are quickly catching up.

"And, while Twitter has seen a large spike in regular use by opinion formers, it is far less popular with the general public, which shows us that businesses and brands need to communicate over a broad spectrum of media to reach a diverse stakeholder base."

The research will be presented by Open Road tonight at an event in London, alongside a survey of recent reporting of corporate crises.

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