Reuters Institute Digital News Survey

Reuters Institute Digital News Survey

Technical devices and services available for consuming news continue to differentiate further. At the same time, the various options for consuming news are converging, as different types of service can be used on one single device. The technical and content-related base for information transfer within a society and opinion formation are hence changing considerably. How the population or – respectively - various groups within it, is altering its consumption of news and which role the various technical platforms and news services play in that process, are central questions posed in the Reuters Institute Digital News Survey.

The survey was conducted in 2012 for the first time by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, located in Oxford.

In 2018, participants were simultaneously questioned in Argentinien, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brasil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finnland, France, Germany, Greece, Hongkong, Irland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexiko, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapur, Slowakia, Spain, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Ungary, the UK and in den USA. In this way, the study is able to not only identify general trends, but also national characteristics.

Since 2013, the Hans-Bredow-Institut has been the collaborating partner responsible for the German contribution. The findings of each year for Germany are documented in the series “Working Papers of the Hans-Bredow-Institut” [Arbeitspapiere des Hans-Bredow-Instituts].
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Project Description

The current media landscape, along with traditional media, is shaped by a number of stationary and mobile devices which enable users to access information anywhere at any given time. The available content and formats are as diverse as the providers themselves. Since 2012, the Reuters Institute Digital News Survey has analysed the effects of these developments on the information-oriented media use of society. The following questions are paramount: What is the significance of individual end devices, providers and news formats? How is news searched for and found? Is the willingness to pay for news online changing?

The study is carried out simultaneously in the chosen countries, coordinated through the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism in Oxford. In this way, the study is able to not only identify general trends, but also national characteristics. In 2018, the report reveals new insights about digital news consumption based on a YouGov survey of over 74,000 online news consumers in 37 countries including the US and UK. Research was conducted by YouGov using an online questionnaire at the end of January/beginning of February 2018.

  • The data were weighted to targets based on census/industry accepted data on age, gender and region to represent the total population of each country. The sample is reflective of the population that has access to the internet.
  • As this survey deals with news consumption, we filtered out anyone who said that they had not consumed any news in the past month, in order to ensure that irrelevant responses didn’t adversely affect data quality. This category was lower than 1% in Finland, averaged around 3%, but was as high as 8% in the United States.
  • A comprehensive online questionnaire was designed to capture different aspects of news consumption.
  • Face-to-face focus groups were held in the US, UK, Germany, and Brazil to explore issues relating to social media and messaging apps. These were conducted by Kantar Media.

The 2018 report focuses on the issues of trust and misinformation, new online business models, the impact of changing Facebook algorithms and the rise of new platforms and messaging apps.

Since 2013, the Hans-Bredow-Institut has been the collaborating partner responsible for the German contribution. The survey has been supported by the Landesmedienanstalten [State Media Authorities] and by the ZDF [Second German Television].

The Findings for Germany as well as the Report with international results were published on June 14th 2018.

Former Reports

Project Information


Duration: 2013-2020

Research programme:
RP1 - Transformation of Public Communication

Third party

die medienanstalten; Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen

Cooperation Partner

David Levy, Nic Newman, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Contact person

Dr. Sascha Hölig
Senior Researcher Media Use

Dr. Sascha Hölig

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 84
Fax +40 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77




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