4 surprising key findings about the Reuters Digital News Report 2016

Reuters just released its fifth annual Digital News Report. Going through the report we’ve selected for you 4 surprising key findings.

  • Social media is growing as a platform to discover news
  • People prefer to read news selected on their own reading behaviour
  • News articles are still the main source to read the news, despite all efforts to promote video
  • There are three categories of news consumers, broken down by frequency of access and interest

Here are the details of the key findings:

Social media as a discovery platform


The biggest change in the digital media landscape in the past 5 years is the growth of social media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are now becoming key players in the distribution of news.

The stories that come through are usually the breaking stories that I would otherwise have to go to NewYorkTimes.com. Now I don’t
(35-54 year old, US Focus Group)

People as their own editor


Social media and personalised news applications are changing the nature of story selection. Whether a story appears in an alert, a feed or aggregated homepage is decided by either an editor or an algorithm. The algorithms work on factors like: recency and popularity, what you’ve read before, and what your friends have been reading or sharing. Reuters asked its focus group based on which criteria the news should be selected for them.

With social media you are your own editor
(18-34 year old, UK Focus Group)

News articles are still the main source to read the news

Despite all effort to grow video, people still prefer to read the news through articles.


The participants of the survey were also asked to name the reasons for not watching any news videos online.


3 categories of news consumers

Segmented by frequency of access and interest in news, three categories of news consumers emerge:

  • 18% News lovers: extremely interested in news and access more than 5 times a day
  • 44% Daily briefers: very or extremely interested and access 1-5 times a day
  • 38% Casual users: access less than once a day and somewhat or less interested

Read the full report here.


Team Twipe

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