This week saw the release of the second Reuters Digital News Report for Ireland. The Irish findings are co-sponsored by the BAI with analysis of the Irish data, undertaken by the Institute for Future Media and Journalism (FuJo) in DCU. Part of the largest news consumption study in the world, the report also delivers comparisons with 25 other countries.
Marika MacCarvill, communications manager, RTÉ Digital shares her top ten insights from the report:
- We are a nation of news lovers
News consumption across all demographics is high in Ireland and we have above average interest and engagement with news.
84% of Irish respondents are accessing some news every day, while 53% are accessing news several times a day. Interestingly, older groups check more regularly than younger people. 69% of under-25s check the news at least once a day.
- Traditional Vs Digital
Ireland is the most digitally-engaged of the English speaking countries surveyed, with the highest level of primarily digital consumers (27%) and mixed traditional digital consumers (44%). We are also among the highest digital news consumers internationally.
TV news remains the most popular platform for accessing news in Ireland at 73%. Online news websites are not far behind at 70%.
In terms of total reach across traditional and digital services, RTÉ has the greatest reach at 64% followed by Independent, News and Media at 44% and The Irish Times at 37% and Landmark Media with breakingnews.ie at 24%. For international brands, the BBC is still the most popular global news brand in Ireland.
- Traditional news providers have increased the reach of their digital offering
RTÉ News Online is the most popular digital news brand, up eleven per cent at 42%. The Irish Independent online and The Irish Times online have also increased their reach at 36% and 29% respectively. Digital consumption of local and regional brands increased eight per cent at 10%.
- The Rise of Social
Just over half (52%) of Irish respondents say they use social media platforms as a source of news each week. Social media as a source for news is highest among 25-34 year olds at 27%.
On social media we are less brand-aware in terms of noticing the source of the news found on social platforms.
- Desktop Vs Mobile Vs News Apps
Desktop still dominates with 72% using computers to access news. The use of smartphones (59%) is on the rise up 7% on 2015 figures. Not surprisingly smartphones are more popular among under-35s. The use of news apps on smartphones is relatively even across all age-groups ranging from 18% to 23% of consumers.
- The importance of the News Brand and SEO
Irish consumers are news brand seekers with 41% going direct to a news website or app and 35% using online search to find a preferred news brand. Beyond going directly to the source, 31% discover news on social media and 15% use search engines to search for content relating to a particular news story.
- In News we Trust (or do we?)
Trust in news has increased by 4%. However, trust is still comparatively low in Ireland compared to other countries. Reflecting similar patterns internationally, Irish people trust editors and journalists (37%) less than news organisations (47%).
- News with your cereal
Morning radio still dominates and is the first source of news for 39% of Irish news consumers. Online is in second place with 38% of consumers getting their morning news online and 21% using smartphones. For morning smartphone users, social media platforms are the most popular source of news (50%) while 30% use a news app or visit a news website.
- Personalisation can lead to FOMO
Consumers are concerned that personalisation of their news feed can lead to missing out on important stories (62%) and missing out on challenging viewpoints (61%).
- Use of ad blockers in Ireland
Among English-speaking nations, Ireland has the highest level of ad blocker use at 30%. Over half of 18-24s use some form of ad blocker. Over half of Irish respondents (54%) find adverts on news sites intrusive. Yet, 42% are willing to view ads in return for free access to news.
The full report can be accessed here: http://fujomedia.eu/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/2016-Digital-News-Report-Ireland.pdf
The study was conducted by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RISJ) in Oxford and is part of an international research project covering 26 countries and surveying 50,000 across the world.