The 2022 Reuters Digital News Report (Ireland) has found readers are demonstrating tactical news avoidance on issues – such as the pandemic – which they see as depressing or liable to lower their mood.
However, Irish consumers still have a considerable interest in news.
For the first time in Ireland, the smartphone has taken prime position as the first device that most consumers reach for to access news in the morning (35 per cent). There are significant differences in age groups, with 46 per cent of the 18-24 cohort turning first to the smartphone versus only 19 per cent of those aged 65+. For the latter cohort, 46 per cent still turn on the radio first thing in the morning.
More than half of respondents say they ‘tend to agree’ (46 per cent) or ‘strongly agree’ (6 per cent) with the statement about trusting ‘most news most of the time’. A further one in four respondents (25 per cent) are neutral on the question of trust.
When you combine the figures for people who ‘tend to agree’ and ‘strongly agree’ that most news is trustworthy most of the time, the figures for Ireland (52 per cent) are considerably higher than those in other markets, such as the UK (34 per cent), North America (34 per cent), and EU countries (42 per cent).
RTÉ News remains the most trusted news brand in Ireland at 74 per cent. The Irish Times is the second most trusted brand at 71 per cent with local or regional radio coming third at 70 per cent. Local or regional newspapers tied fourth on the list, with a 69 per cent trust score.
For the first time, the Digital News Report asked this year’s respondents how politically divided they perceived the news organisations in their country to be.
Most respondents in Ireland believe the main news outlets to be close together (62 per cent), which is higher than the EU average (51 per cent), North America (42 per cent), and the UK (35 per cent).
BreakingNews.ie was the fifth most frequently used digital brand with an increase of two percentage points, to 13, from last year.