Television remains the most used source of news in the United Kingdom, used by 70% of adults, rising to 75% when on-demand viewing is included. It may come as no surprise that those aged 16-24 are much less likely to access news through broadcast television, radio, or print newspapers, and more likely to access news from online sources, particularly social media.

The latest report on news consumption from the communications regulator Ofcom is based on a combination of online and face to face research.

The use of broadcast television for news has declined to 70% of people from 74% in 2022 and 79% in 2018. However, it increases to 75% when the video on demand services of broadcasters are included.

The BBC news output across all its platforms reaches 73% of all adults in the United Kingdom. BBC One continues to be the most used source, although usage has been slowly declining to less than half of respondents at 49% compared to 53% in 2022 and 62% in 2018. Under half of those aged 16-24 use broadcast television for news, compared to more than 90% of those aged over 65.

Although news channels do not necessarily attract large audiences, 23% of adults cited the BBC News Channel as a source, with 21% using Sky News. 23% said they used the BBC news web site or app. Interestingly, 24% reported using the BBC iPlayer for news.

Among those that use television for news, BBC One was used for this by 71% of those surveyed, with ITV at 49%, the BBC News Channel at 33% and Sky News at 30%.

Online sources are used by 68% of adults in the United Kingdom. That percentage has increased from 68% in 2022 and 64% in 2018. 47% say they use social media for news.

83% of those aged 16-24 access news online, with 71% saying that they use social media for news. More of this age group cited Instagram as their most important source of news than BBC One, with 46% of those following news selecting social media as their most important source. One in ten of those aged 16-24 claimed to consume no news at all, with 37% saying they are simply not interested in news.

Radio is still used for news by 41%, about the same as in 2022 but down from 45% in 2018. Only 25% of those aged 16-24 said they used radio for news.

The use of newspapers has declined to 26% of respondents, although that rises to 39% when the apps and online services of newspapers are included. 28% of those aged 16-24 use newspapers or their apps or online services, rising to over 50% for those aged over 65.

The research is based on self-reported recall, which may not reflect actual usage, although it suggests which news sources respondents consider important to them.

News consumption in the UK: 2023 is published by Ofcom and is available from its web site.