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Survey shows where EU citizens find news.

Social media increasingly important as European source for news

Social media has an increased importance as a news source for EU citizens. Compared to EU parliament’s media survey 2022, there is an increase of 11 percentage points in the overall share who use social media platforms to access news. Television dominates as the primary news source for EU citizens (71%), followed by online press and news platforms (42%). Radio and social media platforms share the third position with 37% each followed by the written press, mentioned by 21% of respondents. 

“Citizens see online news platforms and social media channels, including influencers, increasingly as trusted new sources” according to a Eurobarometer survey published by the European Parliament.

The use of social media platforms to access news has seen the most important gain of +11 pp compared to April/May 2022, when the last Media and News survey was conducted, and is particularly widespread in Cyprus and Malta.

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Compared to Parliament’s Media and News survey 2022, there is an increase of 11 percentage points in the overall share of respondents who use social media platforms to access news; smaller increases are observed when it comes to the use of messaging apps (+5 pp), video platforms (+4 pp) or podcasts (+2 pp). The increase in the use of these media is seen in all age groups and across most Member States.

Asked about news topics accessed in the past seven days, local news (selected by 50%), national politics (47%) and European and international affairs (45%) come first.

While a vast majority of respondents follow the news on a daily basis (70%), 9% say they avoid some type of news (including 6% who try to avoid some news topics and 3% who aim to actively avoid all news). 

“The proportion replying that they follow the news on a daily basis increases with age, while news avoidance is slightly more likely among women, younger respondents and the lowest educated”, the Parliament says in a summary.

37% of respondents follow influencers or content creators on social media platforms. This percentage varies widely among the different age-groups. 79% of young Europeans (aged between 15 and 24) follow influencers or content creators, while only 14% of those aged +55 do so.

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48% of citizens trust most public TV and radio stations (incl. their online presence) as news source. This is followed by the written press (incl. their online presence), trusted by 38% of respondents, while private TV and radio stations are mentioned by 29%.

Poland is the only EU country where private TV and radio stations are seen as most trusted news source (41%). 

“In an even more radical shift away from traditional news sources in general, respondents in Hungary mention “people, groups or friends followed on social media” (28%) as their most trusted news source, together with “other news platforms including blogs and podcasts”(28%)”, the Parliament says.

“Compared to the Media and News survey conducted in 2022, the proportions trusting traditional broadcast and print media, and their online presence, have remained nearly the same. The biggest increases for trust are seen in YouTube and other video platforms (+4pp), and influencers on social media channels (+4pp).”

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