TV more trusted despite internet being 'more popular' for news

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More people source news from the internet than TV, according to new Roy Morgan research... but they trust TV more.

The research shows more than 12.7 million Australians (60.8 per cent) regard the internet as a main source of news - up 1.4 million since 2018 - with less than half 29.7 per cent (up 3.3 per cent) nominating news or newspaper websites and apps as a major source.

Almost 7.9 million Australians (37.7 per cent) specifically nominated social media. The number who said TV was their main source of news dipped by one million over the last two years to 12.4 million (59.4 per cent), although TV is still regarded as the most trusted source of news by nearly seven million (33.4 per cent) - ahead of any other forms of competing traditional or digital media.

Other traditional media used widely as main sources of news include radio, nominated by 8.7 million Australians (41.9 per cent) and printed newspapers mentioned by 5.2 million (25.0 per cent), although both have declined since 2018.

Within the broader category of the internet, over 3.4 million Australians (16.5 per cent, a significant increase of 4.6 per cent points since 2018) use news feed sites such as Google News, Apple News and Feedly, a further 1.8 million (8.6 per cent) use email subscriptions or updates and 1.1 million (5.6 per cent) use other websites or apps. There are 1.0 million (5.0 per cent) who use magazines (printed, website or app) as a main source of news.

The findings are drawn from the Roy Morgan Single Source survey, derived from interviews with 50,000 Australians each year.

Main sources of news - 2020 Vs. 2018

People surveyed were asked "Thinking about all the ways you get your news, how do you mainly get your news?" (Mark all that apply).

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source April 2017 - March 2018, n=50,014, April 2019 - March 2020, n=48,935. Base: Australians 14+. *TV including free-to-air TV and Pay TV.

Findings showing TV as the most trusted source of news, ahead of the internet and radio, are in line with Roy Morgan's research of 'trust' and 'distrust' which shows social media is the least trusted media.

Most trusted sources of news - 2020 Vs. 2018

People surveyed were asked "Thinking about all the ways you get your news, which ONE do you trust most" (Mark one response only).

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source April 2017 - March 2018, n=50,014, April 2019 - March 2020, n=48,935. Base: Australians 14+. *TV including free-to-air TV and Pay TV.

Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine says the latest research shows 'traditional media' is not being left behind. "TV remains Australians' most trusted source of news and one of their main sources of news.

"Traditional media channels such as TV, radio, and newspapers that have built a high degree of trust over many decades do retain an advantage against new digital media, however, internet channels are increasingly being relied upon."

The research showed younger generations were more trusting of the internet including social media, with 42 per cent of 25-34yr olds and 36 per cent of people under 25 trusting the internet as a source of news compared to only 16 per cent of 50-64yr olds and just eight per cent of people aged over 65 - with indications that the level of trust in media generally is set to remain under pressure.

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