Survey Methodology for the 2017 Digital News Report

This study has been commissioned by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism to understand how news is being consumed in a range of countries. Research was conducted by YouGov using an online questionnaire at the end of January/beginning of February 2017.

  • The data were weighted to targets based on census/industry accepted data, such as age, gender, region, newspaper readership, and social grade, to represent the total population of each country. The sample is reflective of the population that has access to the internet.
  • As this survey deals with news consumption, we filtered out anyone who said that they had not consumed any news in the past month, in order to ensure that irrelevant responses didn’t adversely affect data quality. This category was lower than 1% in Finland, averaged around 3% but was as high as 9% in Australia.
  • A comprehensive online questionnaire was designed to capture all aspects of news consumption.
  • A number of face-to-face focus groups were held in the US, UK, Finland, and Spain to explore issues relating to paying for news and digital advertising. These were conducted by Kantar Media.

Our survey was conducted using established online panels run by our polling company YouGov and their partners. Because this is an online survey the results will under-represent the consumption habits of people who are not online (typically older, less affluent, and with limited formal education). Where relevant, we have tried to make this clear within the text. The main purpose is to track the activities and changes over time within the digital space – as well as gaining understanding about how offline media and online media are used together.

Along with country-based figures, throughout the report we also use aggregate figures based on responses from all respondents across all the countries covered. These figures are meant only to indicate overall tendencies and should be treated with caution.