Opinion formers flock to Twitter as a news source

MPs and other opinion formers have dramatically increased how often they check Twitter for news, at the expense of TV, Google, newspapers and specialist print media.

Twitter: growing source for news
Twitter: growing source for news

The change in behaviour is captured by a survey commissioned by Open Road from Populus, which compares the habits of opinion formers and the wider public.

Twitter is the biggest beneficiary of the trend for opinion formers to consume their news on digital platforms, which are used by a wide range of the news outlets they trust.

The proportion of opinion formers getting information from Twitter every day rose from 29 per cent in the same study in 2011 to 55 per cent in this year’s study.

Their use of other digital platforms also climbed, including Facebook, blogs and specialist media online, while the study included LinkedIn for the first time, finding 13 per cent used it every day.

However, not every digital platform experienced increased consumption. Google dropped from 83 per cent to 74 per cent, national newspapers online dropped from 65 per cent to 60 per cent and company websites dropped from 33 per cent to 25 per cent.

Traditional sources of information have become less relevant, though still essential.

National newspapers in print dropped from 86 per cent to 74 per cent, TV dropped from 88 per cent to 81 per cent and radio dropped from 90 per cent to 88 per cent.

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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