Insights Ofcom publishes its annual news consumption report finding that half of adults in the UK now use social media to keep up to date on the latest news


While TV remains the most popular platform for people to access news, usage has decreased since last year (75% in 2019 vs 79% in 2018). In the same time, use of social media for news has risen from 44% to 49%.

Ofcom’s quantitative study, “News consumption in the UK: 2019”, looks at the way adults and older children in the UK consume news across television, radio, print, social media, other internet sources and magazines.

Other findings from the research include:

  • after TV (75%), the internet is the next most-popular platform for news in 2019 (66%), followed by radio (43%). Over a third of adults (38%) get their news from newspapers. However, when combining traditional print with newspaper websites and apps, overall use increases to 49%;
  • BBC One remains the most popular news source, despite a decrease in use since last year (58% in 2019 vs 62% in 2018). Use of BBC News Channel and BBC Two for news has also decreased since 2018 (from 26% to 23% and 14% to 11% respectively);
  • after BBC One, ITV (40%) and Facebook (35%) are the next most commonly-used news sources;
  • while use of Facebook for news has remained stable year on year, more people are using Twitter (from 14% to 16%), WhatsApp (from 10% to 14%) and Instagram (9% to 13%);
  • magazines are rated more favourably than any other news platform for quality, accuracy, trustworthiness and impartiality. Social media platforms tend to be rated least favourably on these measures; for example, only 37% of people who use social media for news said they thought it was impartial, compared to 78% among users of magazines, 62% for TV, 61% for radio and 58% for print newspapers; and
  • six in ten older children aged 12-15 claim to be interested in news. Three quarters (76%) said they read, watched or listened to news at least once a week.

To access Ofcom’s report, click here.