By Adam Fraser
The University of Canberra News and Media Research Centre recently released the third in their series of Digital News Reports.
The Digital News Report: Australia 2017 provides insights into what Australians think about news brands, and how and why we consume news. The online survey was conducted in Australia in early 2017 based on a sample size of 2,004 adults who access news once a month or more.
Some of the key findings were:
- 56 per cent of adult Australians try to avoid the news occasionally or often. The main reasons provided by news avoiders were: that news can have a negative effect on mood; news can’t be relied upon to be true; and/or avoiders didn’t feel that there is anything they can do about news stories.
- Interest in news remains strong with about 63% of participants saying they were extremely or very interested in news (consistent with 2016).
- 39% of respondents use Facebook to get news, with 15% using YouTube. But 41% of respondents said they didn’t use any of the social media brands listed in our survey for news consumption.
- Australians tend to trust the news they consume (48%) more so than they trust news in general (42%). There are a large number of people who neither trust nor distrust the news they use (33%).
- More men are consuming online news while in the bathroom or toilet than women accessing news sites at work. Men prefer to share news articles via email, whereas women prefer social media or sharing face-to-face.
- TV news continues to be the main source of news for Australian audiences overall. But the preference for the main source varies across age groups:
- 38% of 18-24 year olds use social
- 32% of 25-34 year olds use online
- 45% of 55-64 year olds and 50% of 65+ year olds use TV.
As a benchmark, previous studies in the USA have indicated 40% of Americans access news via digital means.
This is an extremely comprehensive report, containing not just in depth analytics on a range of aspects related to the media sector, but also quality commentary from multiple industry experts (including some global contributors).
Highly recommended reading and a great source of reference data.