Digital news becomes as popular as newspapers but TV still leads

A surge in young people using websites and mobile apps has made digital as popular a way of following the news as newspapers for the first time, according to research by the media regulator Ofcom.

Ofcom: 2014 news consumption report shows digital on the rise
Ofcom: 2014 news consumption report shows digital on the rise

Sixty per cent of 16- to 24-year-olds have said that they are consuming news digitally, up 16 per cent from 2013, according to Ofcom’s 2014 report on news consumption in the UK.

Of the 2,731 people surveyed, 41 per cent said they now accessed news on websites and apps, a rise of nine per cent from 2013.

This surpasses the use of radio (36 per cent) and is slightly ahead of people who use newspapers to follow the news, which remains unchanged at 40 per cent.

While there has been a fall in the number of people who said their predominate source of news was a television channel, TV remains the most popular medium.

During 2014, 75 per cent tuned to TV news, a drop of just three per cent from the previous year.

Age plays a large role in where people source their news, with over-55s watching 169 more hours of TV in 2014 than younger people, who are in turn ten times more likely to use a mobile for news and twice as likely to use a tablet.

One in ten young people said they did not follow the news compared with five per cent of all adults and three  per cent of over-55s.

The top reasons for UK adults to follow the news are to know what is going on in the world (58 per cent), across the UK (56 per cent) and in their local area (49 per cent).

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