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Younger generations prefer influencers to journalists for news: Reuters Institute report

Younger generations prefer influencers to journalists for news: Reuters Institute report

London: A Reuters Institute survey found that young social media users are increasingly using influencers and famous people as their primary news sources rather than journalists and the mainstream media.

According to the Digital News Report 2023, which was released on Wednesday, 52 percent of Instagram users and 55 percent of TikTok and Snapchat users, who are frequently younger generations, get their news from social media influencers and celebrities, while 33 to 42 percent use more traditional news sources on the same platforms.

However, “journalists often lead conversations around news in Twitter and Facebook,” the report said

TikTok, a Chinese-owned video platform, is the "fastest growing social network," and young people are its main demographic, with 44% of those in this age group using it for all purposes and 20% for news.

Facebook is still the most popular social media platform for news consumption, but its influence has decreased. Only 28% of poll participants said they relied on Facebook for news, down from 42% in 2016.

A sample of 93,896 persons participated in the study, which was conducted in 46 major markets across Europe, North America, Latin America, and Africa.

“Legacy media … now face a continual transformation of digital as generations come of age who eschew direct discovery for all but the most appealing brands, (and) have little interest in many conventional news offers oriented towards older generations’ habits, interests, and values,” said Reuters Institute Director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen in his foreword.

They instead “embrace the more personality-based, participatory, and personalized options offered by social media.”

According to the study, viewers on the platforms popular with younger demographics also "cut back on depressing news and look to protect their mental health," such as news on the conflict in the Ukraine and rising living expenses.

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