Executive Summary and Key Findings of the 2014 Report

This year’s data provide further evidence of a new wave of disruption and change in digital news. In particular, we see mobile and social consumption reaching a new level of intensity, we see the different behaviours of young and old becoming more pronounced, and new kinds of journalistic organisation emerging.

  • The use of smartphones and tablets has jumped significantly in the past year, with fewer people using their computers for news. More than a third of online news users across all countries (39%) use two or more digital devices each week for news and a fifth (20%) now say the mobile phone is their primary access point.
  • The number of people paying for digital news has remained stable over the past 12 months, although we have seen a significant switch to more valuable ongoing digital subscription in most countries.
  • Our new (and unique) social media index for news shows Facebook is by far the most important network for news everywhere. Although Twitter is widely used in the US, Spain, and the UK, it is far less influential in many other European countries. Google+ is emerging as increasingly important for news, along with messaging application WhatsApp.
  • European respondents remain strongly committed to news that tries to be neutral (or impartial) but Americans are more interested in hearing from brands and reporters that are open about their own views and biases.
  • Traditional brands remain strong in most markets, with cross-platform newspaper reach averaging 75% in most countries, but pure players and aggregators are now more or as popular in the US, Japan, and Brazil.
  • US social sharing news sites like Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Upworthy are beginning to make inroads around the world, with new formats and a fresh tone of voice aimed at younger people. Our survey shows a new category of weird news proving more/as popular than entertainment news.

Rapid Growth in Both Mobile and Tablet Use for News

Over the past year we have seen another significant jump in the adoption of both smartphones and tablets for news – as consumers embrace the benefits of smaller, personal, always-on devices. Germany and France have had a catch-up year, while others like Denmark have surged further ahead with 52% of the sample using a smartphone for news and 34% using a tablet on a weekly basis.

On average over a third of our global sample (37%) is accessing news from a smartphone each week and one in five (20%) from a tablet. In turn, this is driving more frequent access to news and from more locations.

Smartphone use for news – all countries

Scroll data area to see more

2014 31% 33% 32% 35% 52% 41% 44% 36% 35% 26%
2013 28% 29% 22% 24% 43% 35% 25% 23% 19%
Change 3% 4% 10% 9% 9% N/A 9% 11% 12% 7%

Q8b. Which, if any, of the following devices have you used to access news in the last week?

Base: Total country samples 2014 (18859) and 2013 (11004)

Tablet use for news – all countries

Scroll data area to see more

2014 19% 23% 15% 18% 34% 23% 21% 18% 20% 10%
2013 16% 16% 10% 11% 25% 13% 14% 14% 6%
Change 3% 7% 5% 7% 9% N/A 8% 2% 6% 4%

Q8b. Which, if any, of the following devices have you used to access news in the last week?

Base: Total country samples 2014 and 2013

As more people come on board, the profile of multi-platform users is getting more mainstream. Smartphone news users are getting older – we have seen a significant jump in usage by the 25–44 group – while falling prices have enabled tablet use to spread to less affluent groups and to the young.

Overall, we are moving away from use of a single device for news (traditionally the fixed computer or laptop) with particularly large drops in France and Germany.

Use of one device for news weekly – all countries

Scroll data area to see more

2013 55% 49% 62% 63% 42% 56% 64% 61% 69%
2014 54% 44% 50% 54% 35% 44% 48% 61% 52% 62%
Change -1% -5% -12% -9% -7% N/A -8% -3% -9% -7%

Q8b. Which, if any, of the following devices have you used to access news in the last week?

Base: Those who use devices UK= 2019, France=1815, Germany=1853, Denmark=1914, Italy= 1958, Spain=1988, Japan=1836, Brazil=955, US=2070, Finland=1470

Across our sample almost four in ten (39%) of those who use digital devices for news now use more than two to access the news, up from 33% in 2013. The number using more than three devices has grown from 9% to 12%.

On average a fifth (20%) of all users of digital devices say that the smartphone is now their MAIN way of accessing online news, with 10% using the tablet as their primary access point.

Main source of digital news (2013 figures in brackets for UK only)

Scroll data area to see more

Computer 57% (-23%) 69% 60% 61% 54% 74% 69% 62% 63% 79%
Mobile 24% (+11%) 17% 24% 22% 24% 15% 19% 18% 22% 15%
Tablet 16% (+11%) 10% 9% 8% 18% 9% 8% 8% 9% 3%

Q8b.5. You’ve said you use the following devices to access news in the last week, which is your MAIN way of accessing online news?

Base: Those who use devices to access news UK=1591, France=1630, Germany=1506, Denmark=1746, Italy=1876, Spain=1806, Japan=1708, Brazil=893, US=1800, Finland=1361

Industry Impact and the Role of Apps

These changes matter because new devices are not just increasing the frequency of news but also the way it is packaged, distributed, and discovered.

On smartphones, we find that news apps – rather than mobile websites – are often the main way of accessing news. In the UK, almost 50% of smartphone users say they mainly use apps. This figure has risen considerably over the past year (+6%) – as has the split between news apps and mobile browsing on tablets (+9%).

App or mobile website to access news – UK

Scroll data area to see more

  Smartphone Tablet
Mainly use apps 47% (+6) 37% (+9)
Mainly browser 38% (-4) 48% (-5)
About same 10% (-1) 10% (-4)

Q9a. Thinking specifically about when you look for news on a MOBILE, which of the following statements most applies to you?

Base: Mobile users=709, tablet users=486

This is surprising given that most news organisations have introduced responsive websites that are better optimised for mobile. To some extent these data may reflect the strong penetration in the UK of Apple smartphones, which have tended to favour the use of apps. By contrast, in Finland where many people use Nokia phones, the use of apps on smartphones is far lower (around 30%), with most users preferring their web browser for news.

% of those using news apps on smartphone or tablet – selected countries

Scroll data area to see more

  News apps %
Denmark 19%
UK 16%
US 15%
Spain 13%
Germany 12%

Q11. Thinking of the way you looked at news online in the last week which of the following ways of consuming news did you use?

Base: All

The use of apps varies considerably between countries and is mainly – but not entirely – dependent on the number of people using smartphones and tablets. News apps are proportionately used more on smartphones than tablets and the age profile is very different. In the UK, most (67%) of those using news apps on a tablet are over 45, whereas on the smartphone the majority of app usage is by the under 45s.

% using news apps by age group – UK

Q11. Thinking of the way you looked at news online in the last week which of the following ways of consuming news did you use?

Base: Smartphone app users=267, tablet app users=152

The proportion of Apple iOS to other operating systems such as Android varies considerably between countries. Apple continues to be the biggest player in the US, UK, and Denmark but elsewhere other devices and operating systems are far more important – particularly for smartphones.

Proportion of Apple smartphones + tablets per country

Scroll data area to see more

MOST % Apple   LEAST % Apple
Denmark 58%   Germany 28%
US 46%   Finland 24%
UK 45%   Spain 23%

Q8b. Which, if any, of the following devices have you used to access news in the last week?

Base: Total country samples

This is important because our data show that Apple users are much more likely to access news on their smartphones and tablets and are more likely to pay for digital news. Even after adjusting for other variables such as income, education, and interest in news, we find that Apple tablet users in the United States were more than one and half times as likely to pay for digital news – and in the UK twice as likely. Also in the UK, tablets from other manufacturers are also significantly increasing payment for news but at a lower level.

Smartphone Encourages Fewer News Sources

Another important finding from our research is that users tend to use a narrower range of news sources on a smartphone than they do on a desktop or tablet. Across all of our countries, over one-third (37%) use just a single source each week on a smartphone – compared with 30% on a desktop or laptop. In some countries the difference is even starker, with 55% of UK smartphone users saying they use one news source each week compared with 45% of computer users.

This suggests a growing dependence on a small number of news apps, perhaps related to limited screen real estate available on a smartphone. In the UK the top trusted breaking news sources like the BBC and Sky – both of which have strong app propositions – seem to be benefiting from this ‘smartphone effect’, while aggregator brands like Yahoo and MSN are losing out.

Selected UK brands – smartphone vs. computer

Scroll data area to see more

  Mobile Computer Difference
BBC 67% 65% 2
Sky 25% 15% 10
MSN 2% 7% -5%
Yahoo 3% 11% -8%

Q19a. You say you access news via a smartphone/computer. When using that device what news sources have you accessed in the last week?

Base: Smartphone users=635, computer=1236

But multi-platform is not just about digital news. Across all of our countries, an average of 50% of those who access news on a tablet say they also read a printed newspaper at least once each week; 86% also watch TV news and we see similar patterns with smartphone users.

Figure ES10

Heavy smartphone users are more likely to keep up to date with news throughout the day compared with an average news user (74% vs 66%). In Denmark and the UK, smartphones have overtaken print as the main way of accessing news on public transport such as trains and buses (69% vs 21% and 53% vs 40% respectively). New digital devices are changing consumption patterns particularly amongst the young but they are a long way from replacing traditional platforms, which remain important for all.

Paying for Online News

The growth in digital payment we saw between 2012 and 2013 seems to have stabilised in most markets – although some individual publishers are bucking the trend. Across our sample, just over one in ten (11%) say they have paid for digital news in the last year – either via a one-off purchase or ongoing subscription.

This is in line with publisher experience where new paywalls and paid apps often find easy growth for a while and then stall – after the supply of loyal users runs out.

In the absence of significant growth in the overall numbers, news organisations are focusing on maximizing revenue from those who are prepared to pay. Among this group we find that the majority (59%) are now making ongoing payments in the form of digital subscriptions – normally on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. There are two exceptions to this: Spain where more people are making one-off payments and Finland where there are more people paying for print and digital bundles.

Move to subscription (% of paying digital subscribers with ongoing subscription)* – selected countries

Scroll data area to see more

2013 60% 42% 37% 28% 63% 40%
2014 68% 63% 54% 47% 75% 65%
Change 8% 21% 17% 19% 12% 25%

Q7ai. Which of the following types of payment have you used to pay for ONLINE news?

Base: US=238, UK=139, Germany=173, France=216, Denmark=206, Brazil=233

* net subscribers include those with direct digital sub, combined print or with ISP or cable operator

In the UK, just over one-third of all digital subscribers have signed up with The Times, followed by the Telegraph and the Sun which both introduced paywalls in 2013. In the US, large numbers of digital subscribers have signed up for either the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. In France, it is Le Monde and Mediapart leading the way and in Germany, the recently launched Bild+ from Axel Springer is having an impact especially on mobile and tablet platforms.

The low figures for the likelihood to pay in the future (for those not already paying) make particularly worrying reading in the UK and may be explained by the abundant supply of quality free news from the BBC, Sky, Mail Online, and the Guardian. But in other markets such as (urban) Brazil, Spain, and Italy there is more potential for growth.

% non-payers prepared to pay for online news in the future

Scroll data area to see more

Likely* 11% 7% 15% 10% 11% 11% 21% 23% 61% 8%

Q7aii. You said you have not paid for online digital content in the last year. How likely or unlikely would you be to pay IN THE FUTURE for online news from particular sources that you like?

Base: Those who have not paid for online digital content in the last year (various)

* those saying they were very or somewhat likely to pay in the future for brands they liked

Reasons for Subscription – and Reasons for Staying

In this year’s report, we’ve also explored the motivations for online payment in a number of countries (US, UK, Germany, Spain, and Finland).

Reasons for signing up for online news subscription – selected

Scroll data area to see more

A brand I prefer for news 35% 34% 23% 31% 23% 33%
Broad range of news coverage 46% 26% 42% 49% 46% 47%
Quality of specific area (eg sport, arts, technology, business) 10% 28% 28% 22% 16% 21%
Quality of specific columnists, writers and journalists 31% 22% 34% 40% 11% 35%
Enables access wherever and whenever I want 42% 43% 37% 39% 63% 49%
No other way to access valued content 16% 24% 15% 19% 9% 20%

Q7b. What were the most important factors in taking out an online news subscription?

Base: All who subscribe UK: 93; Germany: 93; Spain 83; France 103: Finland 131; USA 171

Alongside the quality of content, important factors in getting people to subscribe in the first place seem to be a desire to access favourite content anytime on any platform, combined with a fear of not being able to access that content for free. It is not surprising, then, that news publisher marketing efforts have focused on pushing their paid smartphone and tablet options heavily as part of the drive for wider bundled print and digital subscriptions.

In contrast, our survey suggests that keeping subscribers tends to be more about the actual experience of the content, along with its quality. The quality of individual writers is a particularly important factor in France and the United States, both countries where journalists have traditionally had a high profile.

It appears that the process of subscribing tends to reinforce the value placed by readers in the brand and its writers – either through the increased usage of the brand, a rationalisation of the decision to pay, or because paid content is valued more highly.

Social Media and the News

This year’s report contains new and unique data on the extent to which different social networks are used for news in particular countries – along with evidence about their role in sharing and discovery around breaking news.

Top social networks and top networks for news – all countries

Q12a/b. Which, if any, of the following have you used for any purpose/for reading, watching, sharing, or discussing news in the last week?

Base: Combined sample=18337

In aggregate Facebook is by far the biggest network with 60% using it for any purpose and over a third of our sample (35%) saying they used it for news. The popularity of other networks, however, like Twitter, Google+, YouTube, WhatsApp, and Reddit varies considerably.

Twitter is widely used in Spain (21%), the UK (12%), and US (8%) – in part because leading broadcasters (BBC, CNN) and newspapers (El País, New York Times, Guardian) have promoted its use in wider coverage. By contrast it is less used in Germany (3%) and Finland (6%) where Google+ is twice as popular for news.

YouTube is heavily used for news in Italy (23%), France (16%), and the US (17%) but much less in the UK (6%) and Denmark (5%). Strong brands in countries like the UK have been reluctant to put too much video content onto YouTube, hoping they can continue to attract users directly to their own websites. The age profiles for news are also significantly different everywhere, with Facebook broadly representative of all ages and Twitter focused on younger groups.

In Spain 60% of our sample use WhatsApp and 26% said they are using it for news, with El País the first major Spanish site to enable direct sharing. We also see high usage in Germany and Italy.

But our research also reveals other important networks and social aggregators. In Finland there are two important local networks: Suomi 24 (8%) and Ampparit (12%). In Brazil, Orkut is still used by 12% of the population. Japan has popular networks such as Mixi, and Line, while Germany has a number of networks including Xing for business connections.

Gateways and News Discovery

A key issue for the industry is the extent to which news brands are being disaggregated by search engines, social networks, and portals. Our 2014 results again highlight the very different habits around news discovery across our countries.

In UK, Denmark, and Finland, countries with strong news brands, users tend to start their journeys with a trusted news provider, but it is a very different picture elsewhere, with search still the main gateway in France, Germany, Italy, the US, and Brazil.

Top gateways to news – % finding by brand, search, social network, and email

Scroll data area to see more

Brand 33% 45% 27% 22% 46% 57% 46% 39% 46% 20%
Search 40% 29% 42% 40% 15% 26% 35% 59% 59% 41%
Social 28% 17% 15% 14% 16% 24% 38% 34% 46% 12%
Email 27% 9% 12% 24% 16% 11% 12% 12% 22% 18%

Q10. Which were the ways in which you came across news stories LAST WEEK? (Please select all that apply)

Base: Total sample per country

In Italy, Google News is accessed by 25% of weekly online news users and in Germany by 11% compared with only 2% in Finland and 5% in the UK. These international differences are at the heart of the current battles over the role of aggregators like Google in the European market.

On the other hand our data also reveal how search is helping users get quickly to favourite brands. In breaking down different types of search query we find that more than half (56%) relate to navigation to a particular website. Effectively these are ‘pass-throughs’ to a trusted brand.

In terms of social media, we asked additional questions in the UK about how networks like Facebook and Twitter are used for news discovery. Of those consumers who use Twitter for news, our UK survey shows they are highly active during an average week

  • 57% click further to read or watch (story, video, or picture)
  • 60% actively share or favourite or comment on the news
  • 65% check their newsfeed to see what’s new

Of those who use Facebook for news, respondents show broadly similar types of engagement. They are, however, significantly less likely to click on a news story than Twitter users (though the aggregate effect is bigger because of the number of users). They are more likely to click on a news video.

Twitter and Reddit have amongst the highest proportion accessing news (around 50% of their users use them for news each week) reinforcing their reputation as influencer networks and for surfacing news.

Amongst those respondents in the UK who used social networks for discovering an important breaking story such as a natural disaster or political crisis, 65% said they would turn to Twitter and 54% to Facebook – even though Facebook has three times as many users in general.

Working with polling partner YouGov, we have also analysed UK social media usage in Twitter. This shows that media brands or journalists post much of the content that is discovered and valued in Twitter. Our analysis shows that 64% of people on Twitter in the UK (c.5.4 million) get news from one or more type of ‘news account’, with 48% of them following a journalist, two in five (40%) following a breaking news account and just over one in three (35%) following a general news brand.

Sharing and Participation

In total 16% of our UK sample share a news story via a social network (12%) or email (6%). This hasn’t changed much in three years. The figures are considerably higher in the US, Italy, and Spain.

Top sharing nations – % sharing via email or social network weekly

Scroll data area to see more

Country % sharing
Brazil 54%
Italy 44%
Spain 40%
US 35%
Finland 24%
Denmark 23%
France 21%
UK 16%

Young people are more likely to share or comment using social networks whereas older groups are more likely to share news via email and comment on a news site. But apart from the tools they use, the overall desire to talk about and share news appears to be affected more by national culture than by age.

The Rise of Visual Journalism

Over the last year newspapers, broadcasters, and digital pure players have been producing more visual content, pictures, data-rich charts, animated gifs, and video itself. This is partly because of the multimedia capabilities of new devices, partly because distinctive visual content works well in social media – but also for commercial reasons. Video in particular is attracting much higher advertising premiums.

Despite this, our research shows that, for the moment at least, most users remain wedded to words (traditional articles and lists), though we do find that pictures and videos are relatively more important in the US, Brazil, and southern European countries like Italy and Spain.

Formats of news consumed weekly by country

Scroll data area to see more

Lists/stories 72% 68% 69% 71% 58% 80% 73% 84% 81% 85%
Video/audio 34% 18% 21% 18% 22% 23% 33% 31% 32% 11%
Live pages 9% 8% 6% 8% 7% 7% 12% 15% 18% 12%
Pictures/graphics 24% 15% 25% 19% 8% 23% 23% 20% 32% 25%

Q11. Thinking of the way you looked at news online in the last week which of the following ways of consuming news did you use?

Base: Total country samples

This year we asked a number of additional questions about the appeal of video content in five countries (UK, US, Spain, Germany, and Finland) and the balance between text and video content.

In most of these countries we found just a small percentage (10% at most) that prefer online news to be video-led. Some of these are to be found in the United States where services like NowThisNews and Vice News have been gaining traction and where newspapers like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal have expanded video teams considerably. But even here, more than two-thirds of our sample (70%) only consume or mostly consume news in text. Our research into video also shows that many users are put off by technical problems and by small screen size.

News clips that add context to a text story are valued most by users. In terms of topics, videos about celebrity, fun, and sports news are especially popular, while local news video content is rarely consumed despite a high level of general interest.

Impartial News and the Value of Reporters vs Brands

This year we have also explored whether traditional journalistic disciplines of objectivity and impartiality are still relevant or wanted in a digital news environment.

Some practitioners like the blogger and political journalist Glenn Greenwald have suggested a new approach in which journalists should argue a particular point of view – while being open about their sources and their biases.

Our survey suggests that consumers at this stage strongly prefer traditional approaches. This may be because their views are shaped by what they already know but most respondents support the notion that a reporter’s job is to present a range of views and let the reader/viewer decide – especially in the UK and Germany. However nearly a third of Italian consumers prefer a reporter to argue a particular point of view, reflecting the more partisan journalistic practice of parts of the media there.

Do you prefer news with range of views vs news that argues a particular view?

Scroll data area to see more

Range of views 79% 85% 87% 88% 74% 73% 81% 69% 71% 81%
Particular view 21% 15% 13% 12% 26% 27% 19% 31% 29% 19%

Q5c. Thinking about different kinds of news available to you, do you prefer where the reporter tries to reflect …

Base: Total country samples

In addition our survey showed that audiences TRUST sources more that try to be neutral over those that are open about their views and biases.

We also looked at the issue of whether, as some commentators1 have argued, individual journalists are overtaking the organisation as key drivers of trust and engagement. We see some support for that view particularly in France, Spain, and the US – whereas we find the brand itself is a more important driver in the UK, Japan, Denmark, and Finland.

Importance of brand and reporter in creating trust

Scroll data area to see more

Brand Important 57% 63% 64% 63% 57% 57% 55% 72% 82% 37%
Reporter important 53% 44% 35% 60% 40% 31% 60% 66% 72% 31%

Q5e. To what extent are the following important to you in terms of whether you trust a source of news. Net important = those responding quite or very important

Base: Total country samples

The growing importance of individual reporters has been fuelled by the ease with which new enterprises can be set up and distribute content in the internet era. In the US in particular we see increasingly successful news organisations such as Business Insider (Henry Blodget), the Daily Dish (Andrew Sullivan), Vox Media (Ezra Klein) that are built around their journalistic stars. In most other countries, newspaper columnists and high-profile reporters still largely ride on the coat tails of established brands for traffic and reach.

Rise of New Players and Social Aggregators and the Growth of Weird News

Across the world we are seeing the rising impact of pure players that are bringing a new tone of voice and innovations in format and business models. Some are now international players creating new disruption in many of our surveyed countries. The Huffington Post operates 11 international editions, many of which are joint enterprises with traditional news groups such as Le Monde in France and L’Espresso group in Italy. Buzzfeed runs sites in the UK and Germany and has recently launched versions in French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Huffington Post and Buzzfeed (weekly usage) by country

Scroll data area to see more

  Huff Post Buzzfeed
US 17% 5%
UK 9% 3%
Italy 5%
France 5% 1%
Spain 4% 1%
Germany 3% <1%
Brazil 1%

Q5b. Which, if any, of the following have you used to access news in the last week? Showing answers for Huff Post and Buzzfeed only

Base: Total country samples

These sites attract younger audiences and generate much of their traffic from mobile and social media. They have also been experimenting with new ‘native’ advertising formats where sponsored messages appear as part of the content itself.

Part of their appeal is the ‘fun’ nature of much of the content, which is mixed with more serious news stories. In this year’s survey we have tracked this new category of Fun or Weird news for the first time. Overall, we find this category is accessed more often than celebrity and entertainment news. It is particularly popular with Japanese (28%), French (22%), and Italians (21%) and is mainly driven by young men and women – whereas entertainment and celebrity news skews heavily towards 18–35-year-old women.

Fun news vs entertainment news by country

Scroll data area to see more

  UK Germany Spain Italy France Denmark Finland USA Urban Brazil Japan
Fun/weird news 15% 14% 18% 21% 22% 18% 14% 16% 15% 28%
Entertainment and celebrity news 17% 15% 14% 13% 13% 12% 16% 15% 22% 24%

Q2. Which of the following types of news is most important to you? (Please choose up to five options.)

Base: Total country samples

These latest disruptions from social sharing sites come on top of Web 1.0 portals and aggregators such as Yahoo, MSN, and Google News. Google News is the most accessed news website in Italy and also a leading player in France and Germany. In combination, we see that in countries like the United States pure players and aggregators now attract almost as many users as traditional media online. Japan is a special case where Yahoo holds over 60% of the market and where the national broadcaster NHK has been restricted in its internet activities. Strong brands have done well in the UK, while in Finland – protected by language and by the relatively small size of its market – there is far less disruption (see chart).

Traditional brand websites vs pure players and aggregators – selected countries

Q3. Which, if any, of the following have you used in the last week as a source of news?

Base: UK=2082, Finland=1520, US=2197, Japan=1973

In this year’s report we have also looked in particular detail at the position of newspapers which play an important role in democratic countries – not least because they still employ the vast majority of journalists creating original content. Overall we find that cross-platform reach (print and online) still averages around 75% in most countries but online-only newspaper reach varies wildly from 31% in Japan to 82% in Finland.


This year’s data represent to some extent a continuation of trends we have seen before, but in combination the impact feels more intense. With many news organisations now getting the majority of their web traffic from mobile and tablets there is a growing realisation that this is just the start of a new wave of disruption.

The smartphone is pushing the internet into a more personal space and extending our access points for news and information. Tablets are offering new possibilities for monetisation but in these converged multimedia spaces news is just one form of content competing for attention with all the rest.

Media companies are rethinking their strategies to fit new platforms and changing needs, but for many this remains a battle for survival. There are new opportunities everywhere but also dynamic competitors emerging with fresh thinking. Money must be found to invest in new products but older groups still want news delivered in a traditional way. Embracing digital is clearly the future, but news brands can’t afford to leave behind groups who still carry huge influence and drive most of the revenue.

Like last year we also see the uneven nature of digital change both between and within countries. We see how some countries are protected to a degree by culture, language, or regulation, while others face the full force of digital competition. We see everywhere how young people are finding, consuming, and sharing news and information in very different ways – putting mobile and online first.

And yet in this web of contradictions we find evidence that trusted news brands and trusted reporters remain important to almost everybody. The names of those brands may be changing, along with the means of delivery, but notions of credibility, immediacy, and relevance remain core ingredients of success.

  1. See the Tow Center, ‘Post Industrial Journalism’.