Ireland's trust in news higher than international average

A new survey has found a fall in digital news consumption

Ireland's trust in news higher than international average

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Research has found that Ireland has a higher trust in news media than the international average.

The Reuters Institute survey of 36 countries found that 47% of Irish respondents trust the news media, compared with 41% internationally.

Meanwhile, just under a quarter (24%) of those surveyed worldwide said they think that social media does a good job in separating fact from fiction - compared to 40% for the news media.

In Ireland, the number of people who believe that news media does a good job is even higher, at 47%.

The figure for social media is also higher among Irish respondents, at 28%.

The Reuters Institute Digital News Report also reveals high levels of dissatisfaction internationally with the quality of news and comment generally, and on social media in particular.

This is the third year that the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has funded the inclusion of Ireland in the report.

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Social media use

The report found that Facebook (68%) and YouTube (58%) were the leading social media brands in 2017 - followed by Twitter (23%), LinkedIn (20%), Instagram (24%) Snapchat (15%), Pinterest (14%) and Google+ (8%).

Irish consumers use Twitter and Snapchat more than the international average but use Instagram less.

Facebook was the most used social media platform for news (41%), followed by YouTube (18%), Twitter and WhatsApp - both at 11%.

Some 40% of Irish respondents are using WhatsApp, 37% use Facebook Messenger, and 19% use Viber.

They survey found Irish consumers' interest in news was consistently high over the last three years.

Some 70% or more said they were extremely or very interested in news each year. At the other end of the spectrum, those 'not very' or 'not at all' interested were in low single percentage points.

It also found that interest in news increases with age - the report found younger people are more likely to avoid the news than older groups.

However, 41% of Irish consumers said they never avoid the news.

In 2017, Irish digitalists - those who consume news via smartphones, tablets and computers - fell 4% to 23%, whereas traditionalists grew by 2% to 31%.

And willingness to pay for online news reached 10% in 2017, a marginal increase over each of the last two years.

Younger consumers, the 25-34 age group, are more likely to pay for news - the least inclined was the 45-54 age group.