While 4 in 10 Australians still rely on TV news, online news sites now run a close second according to a study released by Canberra University

June 10, 2024

Australians are avid consumers of news, but the places where we get it have altered significantly over the past decade.

According to the latest annual study conducted by Canberra University’s (CU) News and Media Research Centre, just four in 10 Australians now use TV as their main source of news.

Instead, online news sites now provide the main source of news for almost 27 per cent of the population, followed by social media (22 per cent), radio (6 per cent) and print (6 per cent).

In its ninth annual report into Australia’s media landscape, CU’s study also found that audiences for the traditional “Big 3” media (ie TV, print and radio) have been in steady decline since the study began in 2016.

TV news has lost 7 per cent of its total audience in that time, while radio news has lost 16 per cent and print audiences have halved.

The 148-page study found that the decline in regional newspapers has been even more pronounced than the decline in metropolitan newspaper audiences over the past decade, with many regional newspapers contracting or closing down.

This decline has seen some parts of Australia become “news deserts” which are now being repopulated by online news outlets.

The study also found a growing gender divide in news consumption, with heavy news consumption among men outpacing heavy news consumption among women by more than 10 per cent.

CU’s study found that almost half of news consumers (48 per cent) preferred reading news over viewing it (22 per cent).

And 46 per cent do not want algorithms to choose the news for them, with six in 10 saying they are concerned they might miss important stories because of news personalisation.

CU also found that concern about misinformation was particularly high (69 per cent) and people concerned about this highly valued “public service media” (ie. the ABC and SBS) .

The study is the Australian leg of a global news survey carried out by Oxford University’s Reuters Institute, with affiliated sites conducting similar polls across 33 nations to determine news consumption patterns around the world.

The study’s latest results were compiled to the end of 2023.

In most areas Australia ranked above global averages for news consumption, and in some was placed near the top of the pack.


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