Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2018

The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets after years of growth, according to the 2018 Digital News Report. The report, which covers 37 countries in five continents, reveals that usage is down six percentage points in the United States, and is also down in the UK and France.

Based on an online survey of 74,000 people, the 2018 report includes findings on trust, misinformation, paying for online news, television viewing trends, news, podcasting, adblockers and voice-activated assistants. For the first time, news literacy, and brand trust scores, in 37 countries, are included.

Key findings:

Social media and messaging

The use of social media for news has started to fall in a number of key markets – after years of continuous growth. Facebook is down 9 percentage points in the US while use of alternative platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Snapchat are increasing.

Read more on why messaging is on the rise

Paying for news

Nordic countries have seen significant increases in the numbers paying for online with Norway reaching 30%(+4), Sweden 26% (+6) and Finland 18% (+4). Last year’s significant increase in digital subscriptions in the United States (the so-called Trump Bump) has been maintained, while donations and donation-based memberships are growing in popularity.

Read more on donations and crowdfunding

Misinformation unpacked

Over half of those polled (54%) say they are very or extremely concerned about what is real and ‘fake’ on the internet. This is highest in countries like Brazil (85%), Spain (69%), and the United States (64%) where polarised political situations combine with high social media use.

Read analysis on misinformation across countries

Brand trust

With Facebook looking to incorporate survey-driven brand trust scores into its algorithms, this report reveals scores for the most and least trusted brands in 37 countries based on similar methodologies. Traditional news companies do better than digital born or partisan news brands.

Which brands do we trust and why?

Download the 2018 report!

Explore the data behind the report

You can view or download a Powerpoint presentation of all of the charts and tables in the 2018 report.