Online news sources – particularly social media sites and apps – are the dominant means by which younger people in the UK access news, meaning their direct relationships with traditional news brands are weakening, Ofcom has found.
Ofcom’s News Consumption in the UK 2022/23 report reveals that older teens and young adults aged 16-24 are much more likely to consume news online than adults generally (83% vs 68%). And usually, it’s via social media on their mobile phones (63% vs 39%).
People in this age group are also much less likely than the average adult to access news content from traditional media sources, such as TV (47% vs 70%), radio (25% vs 40%) and print newspapers (16% vs 26%).
The study also finds that 16-24s reach online news in a different way to older generations. They’re much less likely than other adults to navigate straight to traditional news websites (9% vs 26%) and more commonly go via social media (37% vs 24%). This behaviour suggests youngsters have less of a direct connection with established news brands.