in , ,

Youth Prefers Social Media Influencers Over Journalists As News Source

TikTok and other social media platforms are increasingly becoming the primary source of news for young people, surpassing traditional journalism, according to a recent report published by the Reuters Institute. The study, based on interviews with 94,000 individuals across 46 countries, found that 55 percent of TikTok and Snapchat users, as well as 52 percent of Instagram users, rely on “personalities” such as influencers and celebrities for news, compared to 33 to 42 percent who turn to mainstream media and journalists on these platforms.

The report highlights the growing influence of social media figures in shaping public discourse. It mentions Matt Welland, a popular TikTok user in Britain with 2.8 million followers, who discusses current affairs and daily life on the platform. Celebrities like footballer Marcus Rashford, known for his 2020 campaign to provide free school meals for underprivileged children, also contribute to news discussions. For young people, news encompasses a broad range of topics beyond politics and international affairs, including sports, entertainment, celebrity gossip, culture, arts, and technology.

Although Facebook remains the leading source of news among social networks globally, its influence is waning. Only 28 percent of respondents stated that they use Facebook for news, compared to 42 percent in 2016. This decline is attributed to Facebook’s refocus on personal connections rather than news-sharing, as well as the rising popularity of video-based platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

The shift in news consumption habits presents a significant challenge for traditional news outlets. The report reveals that fewer individuals directly visit news websites, with only 22 percent doing so, down 10 points since 2018. Instead, people increasingly rely on social media links to access news content.

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, the director of the Reuters Institute, emphasizes that this shift represents a more profound change for the news industry than the transition from print to digital media. The emergence of a new generation that favors specific brands and exhibits little interest in conventional news offers tailored to older generations’ preferences necessitates a continual transformation in the digital landscape for legacy media.

The report also indicates that new audiences are aware of the risks associated with algorithmic news curation. While only 30 percent consider it a reliable way to obtain a balanced news diet, it is still viewed as more favorable than relying on journalists, who received a score of just 27 percent.

The implications of these findings are concerning for media organizations that rely on subscriber and advertising revenues. The study reveals that 39 percent of subscribers have canceled or renegotiated their subscriptions. However, the overall percentage of people paying for news across the 20 surveyed countries remained stable compared to the previous year, at 17 percent.

In conclusion, social media platforms, particularly TikTok, are increasingly supplanting traditional journalism as the primary source of news for young people. Influencers, celebrities, and social media figures play a significant role in shaping news discussions, covering a wide range of topics beyond politics. The declining influence of Facebook and the shift away from direct website visits pose challenges for traditional news outlets. Moreover, the study highlights a fundamental change in the media landscape, necessitating ongoing adaptation to cater to the preferences of younger generations.

What do you think?



Pope Francis Continues Recovery and Visits Cancer Ward in Gemelli Hospital

BTS Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Massive Fan Gathering in Seoul