Survey Methodology for the 2012 Digital News Report

This study has been commissioned by the Reuters Institute to understand how news is currently being consumed in the UK with a particular focus on digital news consumption and devices used to access the news. A number of the questions were also asked in France, Germany, Denmark, and US to provide an international comparison on key measures. This research was conducted online by YouGov in April 2012.

This is an online survey – and as such the results will under-represent older people’s consumption habits, namely use of newspapers, radio and TV. Where relevant, we have tried to make this clear within the text. Going forward these issues will become less of a factor as online penetration grows but it should be stressed that the core purpose of this survey is to track the activities and changes within the digital space – as well as gaining understanding about how offline media and online media are used together.

In terms of the UK data, the sample was weighted to targets set on age and gender, region, newspaper readership, and social grade to reflect the online population which Ofcom estimates at 77% of the total UK population.1

Because of what we predict will be the importance of tablets going forward, combined with their relatively low penetration today, we have oversampled tablet users in the UK to ensure that the detailed questions in this area are backed by robust numbers. The vast majority of the data we quote in this report is based on the nationally representative sample only. We have made it clear where we are quoting data based on the tablet owner boost sample.

UK US France Germany Denmark
Nat rep 2173 814 1011 970 1002
Tablet owner boost 314 N/a N/a N/a N/a
Total 2487 814 1011 970 1002

As this survey deals with news consumption, we filtered out anyone who said that they had not consumed any news in the past month. This was 18% of the initial sample in the UK. The quotas were applied to the remaining sample to ensure that it was representative of the UK internet-using population.

  1. From Ofcom, Communications Market Report (Aug. 2011), 193, ‘Internet take-up’.