Reuters digital news report 2018 – what students need to know

The growth of social media and concerns about fake news may be changing people’s attitude to journalism, according to the latest digital news report from Reuters.   Here are some of the key trends.

People are increasingly concerned the news they are reading may not be real and this appears to be driving them to seek better quality journalism and even consider paying for it.

The Reuters Digital News Report for 2018 found that more than half of people questioned were concerned about news being completely fabricated, although only around a quarter believed they had seen ‘fake news’ in the past week.

The digital news report is a partnership between the news agency Reuters and Oxford University and is the world’s biggest ongoing study into people’s attitudes and access to digital news.  Researchers spoke to 74,000 people across five continents. 

There is a growing debate about the importance of trustworthy news and the possibility of local regulation, although this is countered by the argument for free speech.  

Donations and membership are emerging as possible practical funding sources for news organisations, with 22% of people saying they might donate to a news organisation in the future.

The debate is also having an impact on social media usage, with people moving away from Facebook to more personal channels like SnapChat and WhatsApp.