The Reuters Institute 2020 Digital News Report found that the coronavirus crisis has increased news consumption for traditional news sources.
Most of the data was collected in January before the virus hit, but the Reuters Institute conducted a follow-up survey in April in select six countries (the UK, U.S., Germany, Spain, South Korea, and Argentina). The report found increased consumption of traditional news sources, primarily television, in all six countries. Findings from the past nine years have shown online news surpassing television as the most used source, but the coronavirus crisis has changed that as many people turned to trusted news sources, the report concluded.
Here are some of the key findings for the United States:
- 60% of the respondents in the U.S. said they watched TV news on a weekly basis in April, which is up by five percentage points since January 2020.
- Local TV news consumption increased the most in response to the pandemic.
- 73% of the respondents in the U.S. said they used the internet (including social media) as their news source, which is up by 2 percentage points since January 2020.
- Trust in news is down across all media platforms.
- The partisan political climate has increased the division in trust with those on the right reporting lower trust in news.
- 30% of people in the U.S. said they prefer news that shares their point of view, which is an increase of six percentage points since 2013.
- Despite this, 60% said that they still prefer news without a particular point of view.
- Facebook was considered to be the platform with the most false and misleading information.
Read the full 2020 Reuters Digital News Report.