DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm17.18

Authors: Dr. Jerry Watkins


Abstract: Analysis of digital news consumption preferences can provide both the Academy and industry with valuable data on news brands, content, platforms and devices. This paper reports on findings from the Digital News Report: Australia 2016, an online survey of 2,021 Australian news consumers conducted between January and February 2016. Across all Australian participants, the two most-preferred platforms for accessing news in the week prior to the survey were terrestrial TV and social media. Segmentation by age shows a clear preference for TV by older respondents and social media by younger respondents. Younger respondents also preferred personalisation of online/mobile/social news content whether by algorithm or by a human editor. In terms of trust in news, 44{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} of Australian participants agreed that they could trust most news most of the time, 39{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} trusted news organisations and 27{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} trusted journalists. The Australian survey is part of a wider global study of digital news consumption in 25 other countries in 2016. With reference to the global data, this paper draws some informal comparisons between news consumption in the three Asia Pacific countries which participated in the 2016 survey – Australia, Japan and Korea. It was assumed that the very different news systems in each country would preclude meaningful comparison. Nevertheless the survey data indicate some broad similarities across respondents in these countries with regard to news access via digital-born brands as well as some preference for soft news consumption. Further comparison to other countries in the global survey are made; for example respondents from Greece indicated the highest preference for hard news and respondents from Finland and Spain preferred to access news via print media.

Keywords: digital news; personalisation; trust in news

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