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Influencers are overtaking journalists as the main source of news for young people

Influencers are overtaking journalists as the main source of news for young people

They're using apps like TikTok and Snapchat to discover what's going on in the world.

Young people are increasingly getting their news from social media influencers rather than journalists.

While generations of people have received updates about what's going on around the world from established news organisations and outlets, it seems the tide is turning.

A report from the Reuters Institute has revealed how powerful an influencer can be in the minds of young social media users.

Their investigation has discovered 55 per cent of TikTok and Snapchat users are getting their news from 'personalities'.

Allard Schager / Alamy Stock Photo

People on Instagram aren't far behind, with 52 per cent also receiving their updates that way.

Only 33-42 per cent of social media users reported going to mainstream media and journalists to know what's happening.

The British-based institute did a lot of digging for these findings.

They interviewed around 94,000 people from 46 countries, according to Yahoo News.

Their report stated: "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."

It added: "A strong supply of accurate, well-funded, independent journalism remains critical, but in many of the countries covered in our survey, we find these conditions challenged by low levels of trust, declining engagement, and an uncertain business environment."

Lead author Nic Newman says there are loads of personalities out there who will discuss 'anything new that is happening in any walk of life: sports, entertainment, celebrity gossip, current affairs, culture, arts, technology'.

Facebook remains the social media site that attracts the most amount of news, however, that reign is slowly starting to fade.

Denis Rozhnovsky / Alamy Stock Photo

In 2016, 42 per cent of respondents said they got their news from Facebook, however, that has plummeted to just 28 per cent.

Reuters Institute director Rasmus Kleis Nielsen says these new figures present an alarming reality for the institution of news media.

"Legacy media... now face a continual transformation of digital as generations come of age who eschew direct discovery for all but the most appealing brands, (and) have little interest in many conventional news offers oriented towards older generations' habits, interests, and values," he said.

The Reuters Institute said in its annual Digital News Report that there has been a 2 per cent drop in trust in the news from established organisations.

More than 50 per cent of respondents are worried about trying to work out the difference between real and fake news, which is a jump of 2 per cent from the last survey.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/Khaby Lame. Mihajlo Maricic / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Social Media