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Teens turn to TikTok, Insta and YouTube for news


The BBC is no longer the most popular news source for teenagers, according to new figures from Ofcom.

The News Consumption in the UK 2021/22 report revealed that for the first time Instagram comes out on top, with 29% of teens using it to follow news. TikTok and YouTube follow closely behind, at 28%.

In comparison BBC One was 24% – compared to 45% 5 years ago. The channel remains the most used news source among all online adults. However, news viewing on BBC One, Two, BBC News channel, ITV and Sky News is now below pre-pandemic levels.

In spite of these statistics, television news remains the most trusted news source in the UK – for adults it’s 71%. For teens, half of YouTube and Twitter users think the platforms provide trustworthy news stories and just 30% trust TikTok’s news content.

“Teenagers today are increasingly unlikely to pick up a newspaper or tune into TV News, instead preferring to keep up-to-date by scrolling through their social feeds,” explained Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s Group Director for Strategy and Research.

“And while youngsters find news on social media to be less reliable, they rate these services more highly for serving up a range of opinions on the day’s topical stories.”

The combined use of print and online newspapers among adults is 38% in 2022, a significant decrease from 2020 (47%) and 2018 (51%).  

24% of UK adults use print newspapers for news in 2022, compared with 35% in 2020, and 40% in 2018.

Reading newspapers among teenagers fell from 19% to 13% in the last five years. 

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