The internet is now Australia’s number one news source, overtaking television for the first time.
A total of 12.7 million Australians (60.6 per cent) now use the web to gather news, including through social media (37.6 per cent), newspaper websites or apps (29.2 per cent), news feed sites like Google News (16.3 per cent), email subscriptions (8.9 per cent), magazines (5.2 per cent) and other websites or apps (5.6 per cent).
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the way we consume news.
“The internet has overtaken TV to become the main source of news for Australians,” she said.
“However, within these broader categories, free-to-air TV is used by 57.6 per cent as a source of news far ahead of second-placed radio (42.4 per cent) and social media (37.6 per cent) in third.”
There are still noticeable divides when it comes to demographic breakdowns.
TV is still used by 12.4 million Australians (59.5 per cent) for news purposes, although this is down six per cent from 2018.
While still attracting 56.4 per cent of the population, FTA TV is down 5.9 per cent for news, while pay TV news such as Foxtel’s Sky is down 8.3 per cent.
However, around 80 per cent of Baby Boomers and Pre-Boomers still say free-to-air TV is a main source of news for them, and nearly two-thirds of Generation X (64 per cent) nominate free-to-air TV as a main news source.
“Free-to-air TV is the best way to reach Australians in Gen X, Baby Boomers and Pre-Boomers who are now aged in their mid-forties and above, while radio is the second best channel to reach Baby Boomers and those in Gen X,” said Levine.
“Many see the biggest challenge surrounding dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic as getting the message through to younger generations who may feel the virus doesn’t pose a real threat to them. The internet is the primary source of news for around three-quarters of Millennials and Gen Z, far higher than other channels, and social media is the best channel to use to reach younger Australians.”
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