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Using Social Media as a News Source

There has never been a bigger demand for instantaneous and constant content

With smartphone users increasing to 3.6 billion worldwide, there has never been a bigger demand for instantaneous and constant content. We are constantly switched on and connected; information is now literally at our fingertips, and Social media plays a crucial part. It is the channel that delivers information straight into our hot little hands.

While social media may be seen as a place where you connect with friends and family, or full of memes, it is actually a hotbed of news, debates, and important information. Globally, 6 in 10 internet users say their most important reason for using the internet is keeping up with the news and current events. These people are also more likely to check their social media frequently to remain informed and current. A global survey company, Global Web Index, has categorised these people as “News Networkers,” 55% of internet users are in this category. These are individuals who use social media to keep up with the news and follow journalists, news networks, and media organisations. News Networkers are a large group of mainly younger individuals, with just under half considered millennials (those born 1981 – 1996). They believe it is important to be well informed about things and think it is crucial to stay in touch with what’s going on in the world.

Australia has followed the trends

Gen Z and millennials are both more inclined to get their news from social media.

– Australians aged 18 – 24 years old are 66% more likely to access the news via social media

– Australians aged 25 – 34 years old are 241% more likely to receive news via Facebook and 552% more likely to receive news via Instagram

With smartphone ownership growing news networks have adapted to stay in the forefront and continue to provide people with information where they need it. People no longer need a printed newspaper delivered to their door when they have the live story being updated on their newsfeed. While not everyone is accessing their news via social media, as websites and news apps also hold their place for older News Networkers, social media still holds the lead as the dominant method for news interaction, with four in ten internet users say the main reason they use social media is to keep up with the news and current events and 30% of internet users follow a news or media organisation on social media.  Facebook and Twitter are the key platforms users are checking for their news.

The way we consume the news is changing, however the credibility of that news is not

Fake news has become a phrase we hear all too often and frequently puts a negative view on news stories. Social media accelerates this, allowing for opinion sharing both positive and negative.

It is important to make sure the news networks are globally recognised, non-biased and cite their sources.

– BBC is the most trusted news network worldwide. It is viewed as trustworthy across all age groups and 4 of the 5 world regions. CNN takes the spot right behind the BCC.

Social media is also trying to combat fake news by recently integrating the fact-checking, run by third-party fact-checkers who are certified through the non-partisan International Fact-Checking Network. These fact-checkers work in real time checking any news that has been flagged or they themselves find. They then review the content, double check facts, and rate the accuracy. News that is deemed false will either be removed or come with a warning depending on the accuracy rating. Repeat perpetrators will have their access removed or restrictions put in place.

Now more than ever it is imperative to stay up-to-date

Smartphones and social media are helping us to stay connected and giving us the ability to switch on and the younger generations are taking full advantage. There are volumes of information at our fingertips, however, not all of that information is correct. It is up to us to follow credible news networks and fact check information that may not seem right. Social media is a powerful tool which we should embrace but also use meaningfully. News Networks get us the information, social media delivers that information, and we consume it; so the key message is:  consume consciously.

To stay up-to-date on social media trends, call one of our social media team at Paykel Media.

Contact - Sydney

Paid Social Media

Sources:

https://www.facebook.com/business/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/

https://blog.globalwebindex.com/

https://www.globalwebindex.com/hubfs

Roy Morgan March 2020 Survey Data