1 in 3 young people do not follow the news in traditional media

New figures from the Norwegian Media Barometer 2021 survey show that 65 percent in the 16-24 age group consume news via traditional media such as television, radio and newspapers daily. 60 percent receive news through social media.

Most young people receive news through several different channels. But 17 percent said they only receive news information via social media, says senior advisor Emma Castillo Shiro, who is responsible for the survey.

By comparison, this applies to 7 percent of the population when we look at all age groups combined.

Young people also differ from the rest of the population in that there are more who do not follow the news at all, neither through social media nor through traditional platforms. Emma Shiro says 18 percent of 16-24-year-olds are so-called news evaders.

Among those aged 25 or older, less than 10 percent followed the news on average in 2021.

Figure 1. Proportion of the population that did not use any traditional news platforms on a typical day. 2021

4 out of 10 use social media to get news

39 percent of the population consumed news on social media on average per day in 2021. Among these, there are more women than men.

Social media has become a news platform on par with traditional media, says Emma Shiro.

1 in 3 residents find news on Facebook, but there are big differences in social media’s use of news by different age groups.

Snapchat and Instagram are more popular as a news platform for 16-19 year olds. Among adults over the age of 25, Facebook is used mostly for news purposes.

14 percent use only one news source

Among the population aged 9 to 79, 14% did not consume news on social media or on traditional platforms on average in 2021 – hence they could be described as news evaders.

Also, 14% of those who consumed news were from just one Average day in 2021.

62 percent of the population used two or more sources on traditional platforms to update themselves with news on a typical day.

The majority of the Norwegian population uses two or more editor-controlled sources to inform themselves of the news. Emma Shiro says a lot of people are interested in the news.

News on traditional platforms is used mostly among the elderly and those with higher education. 91 percent of those with a higher education follow news sources on traditional platforms and 98 percent among the elderly.

The proportions of the population that do not follow the news in traditional media, i.e. neither on television, radio or in newspapers, have remained relatively stable over the past five years.

Figure 2. Proportion of the population that did not use any source of news either on traditional or social media. 2021

More adults pay for online newspapers

The proportion of the population that pays for newspapers online or has access to a paid subscription via someone else in the household rose from 29 to 36 percent in 2021.

Norwegians seem to be more willing to pay for news from sources they think are reliable. Emma Shiro says these are large numbers in the international context.

“People with higher education and those who work as managers and in managerial professions emerge as groups in which the largest proportion subscribes to online newspapers, or has access to shared family subscription,” Emma Shiro says.

28 percent of those with a secondary education as the highest level of education completed subscribe to online newspapers. The same was true for 47 percent of those who had completed a longer education at university or college level.

There is a slight decrease in the proportion of those who read print newspapers and their copies online as well as a slight increase in the proportion of those who read pure newspapers online. This indicates that newspaper reading remained fairly stable from 2020 to 2021.

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