The 2016 Reuters Institute Digital News Report is now out, surveying online news users across 26 countries with a combined population of around 1.3 billion.
It’s the fifth year we’ve conducted the survey, working with a wide ranger of partners and sponsors from all over the world.
As always, our report documents that there are important differences in how digital news is developing even within otherwise relatively similar high income democracies.
But there are some key commonalities across most markets identified in the main report by lead author Nic Newman working with Richard Fletcher, David Levy, and myself.
- The increasing importance of social media, especially Facebook, for how people find and access news.
- The rapid growth of mobile news use, driven especially by smartphone.
- The use of online video for news growing less rapidly than publishers and platforms investing heavily in this format might have hoped for.
- An evolving set of challenges around the business of journalism, with the move to a more distributed environment, the rise of mobile, and the spread of ad-blockers adding to existing challenges–though the incremental growth in the number of people subscribing and the continued relevance of brands give some reasons for optimism.
- A mixed picture when it comes to people’s trust in news and the value they see in editorial curation versus for example personalized recommendations.
My one-liner on the development? Some winners, many losers.
The full report is available here.
The digitalnewsreport.org website offers interactive graphics, more essays, underlying data, as well as previous years’ reports.
This video summarize the main points in 2 minutes and 15 seconds (!).
And this slideshare provides a fuller overview of trends across different countries.
The Digital News Report in the wild
One of the most interesting things about working on the report is the opportunity to take it on the road and discuss it with journalists, people from the news media, technology companies, media regulators, academics, and others.
We and our partners have organized events around the report in a range of countries including not only the UK and the US, but also Australia, Austria, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, and Spain (with more to come!).
On YouTube, you can find videos of some of the presenetations and discussions, including from our London launch event, where Nic Newman presented the report and discussed it with a panel including David Pemsel, Chief Executive Officer, Guardian Media Group, and Executive Chair, Guardian News & Media; John McAndrew, Director of Content, Sky News; Katie Vanneck-Smith, Chief Customer Officer & Global Managing Director, International Dow Jones; and Stephen Hull, Editor-in-Chief, Huffington Post UK. See the full video from the London launch here.
In New York, I presented the report at an event hosted by the Tow Center at the Columbia Journalism School, and discussed the findings with a panel including the Tow Center Director Emily Bell, Huffington Post Executive Editor Liz Heron, Dow Jones Chief Innovation Officer Edward Roussell, and Vivian Schiller. See the full video from the New York launch here (first 1 hour and 45 minutes is about the DNR, the rest a very interesting presentation by Claire Wardle of ongoing Tow Center research).
Coverage of the 2016 Digital News Report
The report has been covered by a wide range of news media across the world, and a couple of examples can be found here from the Columbia Journalism Review, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Journalism.co.uk, the MediaBriefing, the Nieman Labs blog and many, many more. Very pleased to note that the Hindustan Times picked it up! You can also listen to Nic Newman discussing the report on the BBC’s Media Show here and if you watched the BBC World News Channel June 15 when we launched, you may even have caught a climpse of me discussing the changing ways in which young people get news.