The Dutch are less interested in the news than they were last year and the group actively avoiding the news has been growing since 2017. Although the percentage of people actively avoiding the news is increasing across all ages, the increase is stronger in the age group up to 35 years. However, 82 percent of the Dutch still keep up with the news on a daily basis.
This follows from the Digital News Report Netherlands 2022, which will be published on Wednesday. The report, which has been published annually since 2018 by the Dutch Media Authority and the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, takes stock of developments in the use of news by consumers. The investigation on which the report is based was carried out in late February, just before Russia invaded Ukraine.
Hard to understand
The survey was conducted among more than 2000 respondents. 7 percent of all respondents indicate that they often actively avoid the news. In 2019 it was still 5 percent and in 2017 it was 4 percent. Another 31 percent say they sometimes avoid the news. In earlier studies, this was still 24 percent.
The percentage of ‘news avoiders’ is increasing among all age groups surveyed. 48 percent of 25-34 year olds actively avoid the news. This is 31 percent for people over the age of 55. Too much focus on topics like politics and the coronavirus is cited as the main reason for ignoring the news. Other important reasons are that news can negatively affect mood and news overload. Among people ages 25 to 34, 19 percent say they avoid news because it’s hard to understand or follow.
Fall of confidence, but independent
Confidence in the news has fallen slightly compared to the previous year. 56 percent of those surveyed say they trust the news. That’s a decrease from 2021 (when 59 percent said they trust the news), but an increase from 2020 (52 percent). Especially in the younger age group, trust in the news is declining. Where in 2018 56 per cent of 18-24 year olds indicated that they trust the news, this was 34 per cent at the beginning of 2022.
Although trust in news is declining, trust in news brands remains stable. The proportion of Dutch people who do not trust a brand is generally small. Almost half of the Dutch think that the media are usually independent of government and political influences. Compared to other countries, the Dutch are positive about the independence of the media. Concerns about misinformation and misinformation are relatively small compared to other countries.
television and internet
Television and the Internet are mentioned as the main sources of news. Television gets the highest scores across the board. Thirty-nine percent of respondents indicated that they used television as their main source of news at least once in the week prior to the survey. But the internet is gaining ground: in four of the six age groups surveyed, the internet is seen as the main information medium. Radio is the least used news source for all age groups.
Respondents most often use NOS and RTL for news, followed by Algemeen Dagblad, De Telegraaf and Hart van Nederland. It is striking that NOS and RTL are mostly used offline, while respondents use AD and De Telegraaf more often online than offline.
Regarding social networks, WhatsApp leads the list of the most used social networks, followed by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook Messenger. Of all those surveyed, 14 percent say they use Twitter. TikTok follows just below at 13 percent. The relatively young social network has become increasingly popular with users in recent years. A quarter of young people cite social networks as their main source of news. Instagram in particular is a popular news channel for them.
On the internet, more and more attention is being paid to individual creators, including podcasters, influencers, and content creators. 22 percent of young people do not focus on news brands but on specific people when it comes to news online.
paying for news
Of all respondents, 17 percent say they pay for news. That’s a decrease from 2021. 11 percent subscribe to an online news service. A subscription to a national newspaper is the most common. 79 percent of respondents have such a subscription. 39 percent of respondents have a subscription to a regional newspaper. A third of Dutch people have already registered with a news service to access exclusive and personalized content.