Where do people get their news?

The British media landscape in 5 charts

Oxford University
May 30, 2017 · 6 min read
Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Where do people get their news?

News is the most important source of information about politics and public affairs for most citizens, as few of us have any real personal contact with politicians. But where do people in the UK get their news in the run-up to the General Election?

Generational differences in news use

The move from traditional sources of news like television and printed newspapers is particularly clear if we look at differences between age groups. There are very clear generational divides. Asked to identify their main source of news, online comes out number one in every age group under 45 — and for those under 25, social media are by now more popular than television.

How do people find their news?

47% still say they go directly to the websites of broadcasters or newspapers for their news, but online, people increasingly find news via the various search (20%) and social media (25%) services offered by US-based platform companies like Google and Facebook. These have become integral to how people find and access news all over the world, including in the UK.

What do people think of news and media?

Interestingly, the British population has a somewhat mixed view of the news they get, the media who provide it, and the journalists who produce it.

A changing media environment (and political arena)

Media developments in the UK are in line with those seen across the world — a move to a more digital media environment, where traditional media like broadcasters and newspapers are still very important producers of news, but where many people increasingly find their news via search engines and social media.

About the author

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, and teaches in the Department of Politics and International Relations as well as the Blavatnik School of Government. He is a Research Associate of the Oxford Internet Institute. He has written extensively about political campaigns, news media, and digital communication, including his award-winning book Ground Wars: Personalized Communication in Political Campaigns.


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Oxford University

Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world.

Oxford University

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Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world. We aim to lead the world in research and education. Contact: digicomms@admin.ox.ac.uk

Oxford University

Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world. We aim to lead the world in research and education. Contact: digicomms@admin.ox.ac.uk

Oxford University

Written by

Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world. We aim to lead the world in research and education. Contact: digicomms@admin.ox.ac.uk

Oxford University

Oxford is one of the oldest universities in the world. We aim to lead the world in research and education. Contact: digicomms@admin.ox.ac.uk

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