Influencers overtaking journalists as news source: report

TikTok influencers and celebrities are increasingly taking over from journalists as the main source of news for young people, according to a report published Wednesday by the Britain-based Reuters Institute. The figures were based on interviews with some 94,000 people across 46 countries, conducted for the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, part of Britain’s University of Oxford.


“While mainstream journalists often lead conversations around news in Twitter and Facebook, they struggle to get attention in newer networks like Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok,” the report said.

Lead author Nic Newman highlighted people like Britain’s Matt Welland, who discusses current affairs and daily life on TikTok for his 2.8 million subscribers.

“Or it could be a celebrity like a footballer talking about a topical news event,” he told AFP, such as footballer Marcus Rashford’s 2020 campaign to get free school meals for children from poor families.

For young people, “news” is not just the traditional focus on politics and international relations, but “anything new that is happening in any walk of life: sports, entertainment, celebrity gossip, current affairs, culture, arts, technology…” he added.


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