India

Youth avoiding news, says Reuters study

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Trust in news is falling, with much of the public, especially the younger age groups, increasingly turning away from news, according to the 2022 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, an annual study that tracks how news is consumed in different countries. The study, based on a survey conducted in 46 markets through online questionnaires, finds that “the connection between journalism and much of the public may be fraying”.

Noting that people are trusting news content less and less, the report states that consumption of traditional news media declined in nearly all the countries surveyed, with online and social consumption of news not making up for it. Further, the proportion of news consumers who say that they “avoid news” has risen sharply across countries, with the report describing the phenomenon as “selective avoidance”. As regards the reasons for this aversion to news, many respondents said they were “put off by the repetitiveness of the news agenda — especially around politics and COVID-19 (43%). Some said they were “worn out by the news” (29%). A significant number said they avoided news because they didn’t trust it (29%). About one-third (36%), especially those under 35, said news ruined their mood. About 17% said they avoided news because it led to arguments they would rather avoid, while 16% said reading the news led to feelings of powerlessness.

‘Mobile-focussed market’

In the section on India, produced in collaboration with the Asian College of Journalism, the report, observing that “India is a strongly mobile-focussed market,” stated that 72% of the survey respondents accessed news through smartphones and 35% did so via computers. Also, 84% of the Indian respondents sourced news online, 63% from social media, 59% from television, and 49% from print. YouTube (53%) and WhatsApp (51%) were the top social media platforms for sourcing news. While legacy print brands and public broadcasters continued to have high trust levels among the respondents from India, only a minority — 36% and 35% — felt that the media was free from undue political influence and undue business influence respectively. For India, the data is more representative of younger English speakers and not the national population as such.


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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 12:40:38 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/youth-avoiding-news-says-reuters-study/article65527704.ece