A new study has revealed that more Britons than ever before are now using mobile phones and tablets for online news, rather than desktop PCs.
The study, released yesterday by Oxford University Reuter’s Institute, shows that the number of people using a PC to check the news has fallen 23% in the last year to 57%. The number of people using smartphones to access digital news has risen to 24%, up 11 percentage points, and the amount of people checking the news on their tablets has also gone up to 16%, also up 11 percentage points.
According to the report’s authors, the shift in device usage could reflect a broader change in society, including the development of an ‘echo chamber’ effect as mobile users source their news from an increasingly narrow choice of sources online.
Dr David Levy, director of the Reuter’s Institute, explains: “In some countries such as the UK the established news brands have retained their loyalty in the more competitive online environment but the rapid growth of social media as a way of discovering and consuming news has a range of possible ramifications.
“While choice proliferates, consumption may narrow; reliance on recommendations from like-minded friends could mean people are less exposed to a broad news agenda.
“As the ways of reading change, some people may operate in a news echo chamber where they are less likely to be exposed to other content through chance.”
This report shows how committed people are to news sources with content that is proven to be trustworthy, despite the rapid explosion of online news sources.