Press releases

UK divided between news junkies and news flunkies

29 April 2015

  • 29% of British adults spend more than thirty minutes each day checking the news 
  • One in five say they read the news headlines the moment they wake up
  • But more than half of us read, watch or listen to the news for fewer than 30 minutes each day

As aspiring MPs clamour for space in the nation’s news outlets, research from Deloitte has found that 70% of UK adults may not hear their message. According to Media Consumer Survey 2015, this comprises 51% of people consuming less than 30 minutes of news each day and 19% who pay no attention to the news at all. The brighter news for David, Ed, Nick and co. is that we are a nation divided by news; whilst many barely tune-in at all, 29% spend more than thirty minutes each day checking the news, whilst 20% reach for the headlines the moment they wake up.

There are also signs that this General Election has a more engaged audience than the last. 89% of all respondents said they are consuming the same or more news about this election and 80% are reading a similar or higher number of newspapers and magazines than they did in 2010.

Greater engagement is particularly notable amongst people aged 25-34 where 39% say they are taking in more news now than in 2010. Although younger voters are still being turned off with 43% of 16 to 24 year olds saying they consume zero content on UK politics or news.

Matthew Guest, Deloitte strategy director, said: “These figures show that people still trust and rely on the UK’s news providers to help inform them on issues that matter. Although young people appear to demonstrate a lack of appetite for news, we found in our focus groups that they saw news consumption as what they absorb on their social media newsfeeds. They also find their news from more entertainment news-focused sites, rather than traditional news outlets. Politicians have recognised this and are working hard to work with these outlets to get their message across to younger voters.”

On the general election, print media is still important for people’s general daily news consumption and they continue to capture the most attention with 31% getting their election news from them first, followed by their online versions (22%). Expert commentary was cited by 42% of readers for picking up a copy, compared to just 12% of Twitter ‘newsreaders’.

However, online versions of print newspapers are not without their critics. Only 14% of online newspaper readers thought they offered content you can’t find anywhere else, whereas 28% of those turn to Twitter.

Howard Davies, Deloitte media partner, concludes: “News consumption still remains a core part of our daily lives. The challenge for news organisations is to deliver a product which fits the demands of the British public, whether by offering personalised content or multimedia online articles and rapid updates on breaking stories. In 2015, there is an increasingly blurred distinction between news, newsfeeds and entertainment.”

Other findings:

  • A third (33%) of 16 to 24 year olds said they use their smartphones to consume the news, compared to 47% who watch it on the television. 
  • Television’s dominance of news consumption strengthens with age, with three quarters of the over 55s watching television news.

End

Notes to editors

About the research
This is the ninth annual edition of research commissioned by Deloitte’s Media & Entertainment practice. The survey provides a ‘reality check’ on how consumers between the ages of 16 and 75 consume media, entertainment, and information, and what their preferences might be in the future.

The survey was carried out by an independent research firm (IPSOS Mori) during March 2015, using an online methodology with 2,000 consumers in the UK.

This year we also extended our approach to interview 16-18 year old students in focus groups at St. Mary Magdalene Academy in Islington, London and City of London Freemen’s School, Surrey.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7303 0885
+44 (0) 78 2695 2940
lauparsons@deloitte.co.uk

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