THE ANNUAL REPORT on the state of digital news media in Ireland found that RTÉ News online and The Journal are the two largest sources of online news here.
This is now the sixth year of Reuters Institute Digital Information Report for Ireland which provides an authoritative view of news consumption patterns across the country. In addition to measuring which sources of information are used by the population and how often, it also looks at levels of trust in the news media, how we view the role of journalists and news outlets, what information we go to pay and where we access it.
This year, as in 2021, RTÉ News online and The newspaper are the most viewed of all digital outlets in Ireland (three or more days a week). RTÉ is cited by 26% of respondents as a frequent destination for online news, up from 30% last year; The newspaper was cited by 19% of respondents, up 1% from last year.
The Irish Independent online was in third place, with 17%, and The Irish Times online and breakingnews.ie with 13% each.
This year’s report also looked at the impact of diversity and gender on media consumption in Ireland; survey data indicate that those who cited The newspaper as a frequently used source of information were evenly split between male and female users.
“Trust in news in Ireland is considerably higher than in other markets, with more than half of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing that they can trust news most of the time. time,” noted Celene Craig, CEO of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). The BAI commissioned the DCU’s Institute of Future Media, Democracy and Society (FuJo) to produce the report, which itself contributes to a Reuters Institute Global Report on News Markets.
“It is fitting to note that FuJo, DCU, has been chosen by the European Commission to be part of the first-ever network of hubs established by the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO) to combat disinformation,” Craig said. The newspaper is a partner of the Irish hub EDMO, providing fact-checking services through its dedicated FactCheck unit.
The report also notes that, for the first time in Ireland, the smartphone took the top spot as the first device most consumers use to access information in the morning (35%). “There are significant differences between age groups, with 46% of the 18-24 year old cohort turning to smartphones first compared to only 19% of people aged 65 and over. For this last cohort, 46 % always turn on the radio first thing in the morning,” it read.
The report contains sobering news, especially for young audiences who turn away not only from mainstream national news sources, but also from the news itself. The report notes, “18-24 year olds are the age group most disinterested in news and least engaged with news brands. In the 2016 Digital News Report, 53% of this group said they were extremely or very interested in news, but that number dropped to 25% in this year’s report.
The Irish public is also much more concerned about the rise of misinformation and ‘fake news’ than the average European citizen. While 48% of EU respondents to the Reuters Institute’s wider digital news report are concerned about misinformation, 58% of Irish respondents said it was a concern. However, the situation is a little more turbulent in the UK and the US, where 61% and 60% respectively are worried about it.
Report the climate crisis
The focus on the climate crisis at all levels of society has created a huge appetite among news consumers for reliable information on the subject, with nine out of ten people ‘paying attention’ to how climate change climate is covered in the news. Almost half of those polled – 44% – said the media should focus on what companies and governments are doing about the issue, while 21% think the focus should be on the actions of companies. people.
The report concludes: “Academics, scientists and other experts are by far the most trusted sources of environmental information, and they feature in media coverage of climate change in all markets compared in our survey. Trust in these sources is relatively high in Ireland (49%), but in the UK the authority of scientists and academics is even more widely accepted (57%). »
As part of its focus on the issue, The newspaper launched a climate change newsletter called Temperature Check last year, with original reporting by Orla Dwyer and Lauren Boland, who are also responsible for reporting year-round on climate and environmental for the site.
Fellow Journal Media website, investigative platform Outstandinghas won awards for his reporting on the environment and climate, including an international award for outstanding investigative reporting for Exploring Niall Sargent negative impacts of coniferous forest policy in Ireland.
Outstandingwhich shared a position with trade publication The Currency in being frequently consulted by 1% of survey respondents in the Reuters report, has published a number of in-depth investigations into environmental affairs over the past year from of peat harvest to loss of biodiversity and the degradation of river habitats, agricultural subsidies and aquaculture at industrial carbon emissions.
Dave Robbins, director of the DCU’s Center for Climate and Society, in an essay for the report – and published later this morning on The newspaper – said the media still had a long way to go in providing hard facts on environmental issues, in order to create literacy and understanding among their audiences.
He also issues a note of warning to the media not to underestimate who is open to information about the climate crisis, citing the report’s findings that the assumption of the divide between young and old, between urban and rural in tackling climate issues does not ring true here.
No news, bad news
Support the review
Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that matter to you
Support us now
“Despite the widespread perception that young people are more concerned with these topics,” he writes, “the demand for climate information is higher among older age groups. Some 55% of people aged 65+ year olds want to read climate stories, compared to 34% of people aged 18-24.
He adds: “People in Munster are just as interested in climate news as people in Dublin (both 45%), and those in Connacht and Ulster (42%) and the rest of Leinster (43% ) are not far behind. The report gives clear clues to the media regarding climate coverage.
- The full report can be read here.
Sign up for The Journal’s Temperature Check climate change newsletter here >
Find out how you can contribute to Noteworthy’s current environmental investigation proposals here>