More Filipinos losing interest in the news — Digital News Report 2024

Cristina Chi - Philstar.com
More Filipinos losing interest in the news � Digital News Report 2024
Pixabay / Stock

MANILA, Philippines — The number of Filipinos with a strong interest in the news is continuing to shrink, according to a Reuters Institute report released on Monday, a trend that persists despite news organizations' efforts to increase their presence on different social media platforms.

Less than half or 46% of Filipinos surveyed for the annual Digital News Report (DNR) rated themselves as being extremely or very interested in the news, down from last year's 52%.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that news interest in the Philippines reached an all-time low since the country was first included in the DNR in 2020, when strong news interest was at a high of 69%. 

Regarded as the most comprehensive global study of news consumption trends, the DNR draws data from an online survey of 94,943 adults across 47 media markets conducted in late January to early February. A total of 2,104 Filipinos participated in the survey.

Interest in the news appeared to decline more sharply among 18- to 24-year-olds or those who grew up alongside the rise of social media networks, dropping by nine points from the previous year to 34%.

News avoidance has remained prevalent with at least 47% of Filipinos reporting that they sometimes or often avoid the news, surpassing the global average of 39%. The proportion of Filipinos actively sharing news has dropped by five percentage points to 42%. 
In the Philippines, local news commands the greatest interest among news consumers at 45%. This is closely followed by international news at 43% and topics covering the environment and climate change at 41%. 

Sports news garners interest from 27% of respondents, while social justice issues, including race, gender inequality, and human rights, attract less interest at 21%.

Around the same share of respondents said they trust the news most of the time as last year at 37%. 

This year's DNR also noted that for the first time, usage of Facebook as a source of news has plummeted from 72% to 61% over the past year, while TikTok saw a modest increase in its use as a news source from 21% to 23%. 

This echoes similar findings globally, where Facebook news consumption is generally down and more people are getting their news from short-form videos. 

News avoidance a global problem 

Even as 2024 marks the biggest election year in history, with more than 60 countries representing half the world's population set to head to the polls this year, overall news interest in the world has continued to decline. 

"Open comments suggest that the intractable conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East may have had some impact," the Reuters Institute study noted.

The report also found that respondents who said they feel "overloaded" by the amount of news available has grown substantially (at least 11 percentage points) since 2019.

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