Digital News Report: Australia
Digital News Report: Australia 2021
THE HIGH OF COVID-19 NEWS CONSUMPTION SLUMPS IN 2021
This year’s report reveals the rapid increase in news consumption by Australians at the start of the pandemic has not been maintained. The proportion of people paying for it has not increased, and interest in news has declined since 2020.
We also find Australians have become more trusting of news in general but concern about misinformation remains high. However, many Australians lack adequate levels of media literacy to identify it and the majority are unaware of the financial difficulty facing the news industry.
- Trust in news has rebounded to 43% but is well below the high of 53% trust in COVID-19 news coverage found in April 2020.
- News consumption has fallen from the COVID-19 high, with heavy news use dropping from 69% in April 2020 to 51% in January 2021, and lower than previous years.
- Interest in the news continues to decline, with those expressing high interest down from 64% in 2016 to 52% in 2021.
- Most Australians support impartial and balanced news; 73% agree news should present a range of views and 71% say news should give equal time to all sides.
- Women and young people say they are underrepresented in news, with 26% of Gen Z women saying news does not give their gender enough coverage.
- Local news continues to be an important part of Australian’s news diet, and the findings confirm a significant role of local newspapers in generating a sense of community.
For more information, please read the final report.
This report is part of a long running international survey coordinated by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, an international research centre in the comparative study of journalism based at the University of Oxford. The Digital News Report delivers comparative data on media usage in 46 countries and across 6 continents.
The News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra is the Australian partner institute and author of the Digital News Report: Australia. This is the seventh annual Digital News Report: Australia.
Cite the report as: Park, S., Fisher, C., McGuinness, K., Lee, J.Y. & McCallum, K. (2021). Digital News Report: Australia 2021. Canberra: News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra.
Please complete our online briefing request form to have a member of the N&MRC present on our research.
Previous Digital News Reports
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2020
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2019
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2018
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2017
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2016
Download our Digital News Report: Australia 2015
Previous Media Stories, Podcasts and Interviews
- The Fourth Estate Podcast with Peter Fray: Are Australians Turning Their Back On The News?
- Radio National Drive: More Australians are sick of bad news
- 3AW: Why are Australians avoiding the news? Report finds 62 per cent of people are tuning out
- ABC News 24: https://youtu.be/JozWJkYL10Y
- ABC Melbourne Breakfast: Tired of the news cycle? You’re not alone, says report
- The Guardian Australia, Australian politics live podcast: Why are Australians avoiding the news?
- ABC Radio, The World Today: Trust in the media is falling while fake news anxiety rises, report finds
- ABC Adelaide Drive with Jules Schiller: Wednesday June 12, 2019
- ABC 666 Drive with Anna Vidot: Digital News Report: Australia 2019
- ABC Nightlife: Wednesday June 12, 2019
- 2SER: Are Australians interested in news?
- Chris Kenny on Media, Sky TV: Research shows online shift is a ‘crisis’ for news organisations
- Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny: Trust issues and the Trump bump
- Media Files podcast: Australians’ trust in news media is falling as concern over ‘fake news’ grows
- Content Group Govcomms podcast part 1: Giving up on news: The latest trends in digital news consumption with Caroline Fisher
- Content Group Govcomms podcast part 2: A Matter of trust: Rebuilding citizen trust with Caroline Fisher
- 3RRR Room With a View: Monday 17 June 2019
- ABC Adelaide Drive - Thursday 14th June with Caroline Fisher.
- ABC Melbourne Drive - Thursday 14th June with Caroline Fisher.
- Triple J's Hack - Thursday 14th June with Caroline Fisher.
- ABC 666 Mornings - Thursday 14th June with Caroline Fisher.
- What's the future of media for young people? - 'The roundtable', ABC Radio National, Monday 25th June with Sora Park.
- Digital trends and opportunity for government communication - Content Group Govcomms podcast, Tuesday 31st July with Caroline Fisher.
- Policy Forum Pod Extra: protecting the media - Tuesday 7th August, with Caroline Fisher.
- The Canberra Times: Australians are fact-checking to combat fake news
- The Sydney Morning Herald: 'YouTube going off as a news source': Australians among world's most likely to share dodgy articles
- The Guardian Australia: Australians are avoiding the news and think it's too negative, survey finds
- The Guardian Australia: Truth decay: why personal values are poisoning Australians' news consumption
- The Australian: Two-thirds of Australians don’t want to read about politics: study reveals
- The Daily Bulletin: Australians are less interested in news and consume less of it compared to other countries, survey finds
- The Conversation: Australians are less interested in news and consume less of it compared to other countries, survey finds
- HerCanberra: Australian women prefer to consume their media through social channels
- Broadagenda: Online News & the gender 'paying' gap
- Digital News Report: Australia 2018 co-authors Sora Park, Caroline Fisher, Glen Fuller and Jee Young Lee wrote an article for The Conversation addressing Australians' reluctance to express their political views on social media. The piece was reposted by usnews.com.
- 'Trust in the news is up — but there's still only a 50-50 chance you'll trust me on that', ABC News Online.
- 'Australian media consumers more polarised than the global average', Guardian Australia.
- The report's findings were also covered by the Sydney Morning Herald.