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Local & National News for Wales

People in Wales increasingly turning to online sites for news according to OFCOM report

OFCOM’s annual report on news consumption in the United Kingdom was published recently and it shows that social media outlets are increasingly becoming the news source for people in Wales.

In Wales the top seven sources for news were:

BBC One (61%); ITV/ITV Wales ( 43%); Facebook (42%); Sky News (32%); BBC News channel ( 26%); Twitter (22%) and Instagram (23%)

12% in Wales also used TikTok to get their news

The continuing decline in newspaper readership in Wales was highlighted in the report. Only 11% of the people of read newspapers to find out what was happening in their country although 16% went on news outlets’ websites.

The Western Mail/Wales on Sunday/Wales Online read by 11% whilst The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday was 14%.

The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee met recently to hear Oral evidence on the Sustainability of Local Journalism

In just a few years, news consumption in the UK has changed significantly. Gone are the days when the majority of people bought a paper in the morning, watched the TV news in the evening, and had little or no exposure to news in between.

Online news consumption is now widespread – even by those who claim to rely primarily on ‘offline’ news. However, attitudes towards and behaviours in online news consumption are not widely known or understood – which is what prompted  research.

What the research has found is that the pace of change in online news consumption seems to be faster than anticipated. What’s more, people’s own perceptions of how they consume news online are often not accurate. The research was qualitative – it explored what people say about their attitudes to news; how, when and why they say they access it, and whether they trust it. It also tracked their behaviour, in terms of the time people spend consuming news content, the way they interact with it and how they come across it. This revealed stark differences between what people did and what they thought they did.

What the research shows is that, for people who access news online:

• The primary device they are getting their news through is their smartphone.

• The primary platform they are reaching most of their news through is social media.

• The primary mindset with which they approach news is now passive.

These findings – not just how and why people access the news, but also how much this differs from what they think they are doing – have potentially huge implications for how news consumption is understood, and how it is measured in future.




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