Element 68Element 45Element 44Element 63Element 64Element 43Element 41Element 46Element 47Element 69Element 76Element 62Element 61Element 81Element 82Element 50Element 52Element 79Element 79Element 7Element 8Element 73Element 74Element 17Element 16Element 75Element 13Element 12Element 14Element 15Element 31Element 32Element 59Element 58Element 71Element 70Element 88Element 88Element 56Element 57Element 54Element 55Element 18Element 20Element 23Element 65Element 21Element 22iconsiconsElement 83iconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsiconsElement 84iconsiconsElement 36Element 35Element 1Element 27Element 28Element 30Element 29Element 24Element 25Element 2Element 1Element 66

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 – Ergebnisse für Deutschland

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 – Ergebnisse für Deutschland

Surveys were conducted simultaneously in 47 countries for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 on news usage in an international comparison to identify general trends as well as national peculiarities. The HBI is responsible for the German part of the study; it is supported by the state media authorities and the ZDF. 

Overview of the Most Important Findings
  • The long-term downward trend of people's interest in news has slowed down this year. 55 percent of adult internet users in Germany say in 2024 that they are extremely or very interested in news (2023: 52%). The general reach of news also remains stable compared to the previous year: 89 percent read, listen to or watch news more than once a week (2023: 89%).
  • 42 percent of internet users in Germany aged 18 and above are extremely or very interested in politics. Political interest has increased slightly compared to the previous year, but is at a lower level than in 2021, when around one in two people said they were extremely or very interested in politics. While more than half (52%) of those aged 55 and over are very interested in politics, this only applies to just over a third (35%) of 18 to 24-year-olds. Looking at different news topics, the highest proportion of people are interested in local news (59%).
  • 67 percent of adult internet users in Germany use digital news services on the websites or apps of news providers or on social media at least once a week. News programs on traditional linear television are watched by 60 percent within a week. Overall, online news usage continues to be dominated by traditional TV, radio and print providers. 45 percent regularly read, watch or listen to the content of established news providers on the Internet; among 18 to 24-year-olds, the figure is 47 percent. However, when comparing individual online sources, social media is leading with a weekly reach of 34 percent. Every second person under the age of 35 encounters news content on such platforms.
  • The internet is not only a regularly used source of news, but for the first time in the history of the study, it is also the most important source of news for most of the adult online population in Germany. 42 percent say that the internet is their main source of news, closely followed by linear television broadcasts at 41 percent. 15 percent of respondents receive news mainly from social media. This proportion has risen continuously over the long term and is highest among 18 to 24-year-olds at 35 percent. For 16 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds, social media is even the only source of news.
  • To find specific articles or reports online, most adult internet users access a news website or app directly (32%) or enter the name of a specific website into a search engine (29%).  Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely to come across specific news content on social media (37%) and for 27 percent, social media is the most important way to access online news.
  • WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook will remain the most widely used social media among the adult online population in Germany in 2024. At the same time, they are used proportionately by most respondents within a week to search for, read, view, share or discuss news (WhatsApp: 15%, YouTube: 21%, Facebook: 16%). In the youngest age group, news is primarily consumed on social media with a focus on moving images: 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds regularly engage with news content on Instagram, followed by YouTube with 24% and TikTok with 13%.
  • Almost half of adult internet users in Germany (49%) watch a short online news video (a few minutes or less) at least once a week. Longer news videos are watched regularly by around a third (34%). For 26 percent of users of online news videos, the platform of a news provider is the most frequently used channel for watching online news videos. YouTube is close behind with 23 percent. In contrast, 18 to 24-year-olds mainly consume online news videos on the third-party platforms YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Overall, videos on international news, domestic politics and the environment and climate are the most popular.
  • 43 percent of adult internet users in Germany believe that most news can generally be trusted. This is the same number of respondents as in the previous year, although it is the lowest figure since the question was first included in the Reuters Institute Digital News Survey in 2015. Trust in the news that respondents use themselves has also remained stable at 53 percent.  Once again, the two main news channels of the public broadcasters are the two services with the highest trust ratings among the brands surveyed that are known to respondents. They are closely followed by regional and local daily newspapers.
  • People tend to be skeptical about news on social media. 41 percent of TikTok users have difficulty distinguishing between trustworthy and untrustworthy messages. People also tend to distrust messages that are disseminated on platform X (formerly Twitter). Respondents have fewer concerns about messages they receive via WhatsApp or Google search. Regarding online news as a whole, 42 percent of adult internet users in Germany express concerns about being able to distinguish fake news from facts (2023: 37%). Around a quarter of respondents (26%) said they had encountered false or misleading information about migration and politics.
  • The most important aspect for trust in news media from the respondents' perspective is the question of whether they communicate transparently how news is produced. 74 percent consider this aspect to be somewhat or very important for trust. High journalistic standards (72%), (un)biased reporting (65%) and fair representation of "people like me" (65%) were also rated as important. Whether news media can look back on a long history or whether they report too negatively, on the other hand, is rated as less important for trust.
  • The most important functions of the news media from the respondents' point of view are that they are kept up to date with current events, learn more about different topics and events and receive different perspectives on current issues. However, the diversity of perspectives in the media is seen by the majority as less well fulfilled: Less than half (43%) think that the news media is somewhat or very good at providing different perspectives on current issues. The news media perform worst when it comes to giving people a more optimistic view of the world; only a quarter of respondents consider this to be well fulfilled. On the other hand, a more optimistic view of the world is also seen as important by fewer people (42%).
  • In 2024, 14 percent of adult internet users in Germany often actively try to avoid news; 69 percent try to do so at least occasionally. Compared to the previous year, both percentages have risen by four percentage points. At the same time, 41 percent of respondents stated that they feel exhausted by the amount of news available today. In 2019, when the question was last asked, around one in four people (26%) still held this view. In the youngest age group, half (51%) now feel somewhat exhausted by the amount of news available.
  • Around half (52%) of adult internet users in Germany have read or heard a great or moderate amount about artificial intelligence (AI). However, the use of AI in journalism is predominantly met with skepticism. Every second person feels rather or very uncomfortable using news produced mainly by AI with some human supervision. Acceptance is slightly higher when news is produced only with some help from AI, but mainly by human journalists. Around a third (36%) of all respondents feel rather or very comfortable using such news. In a comparison of different topics, the greatest openness towards automated news is found in the areas of science and technology as well as sport. Younger people tend to be more open to using AI news than older people.

Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 – Ergebnisse für Deutschland

Surveys were conducted simultaneously in 47 countries for the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2024 on news usage in an international comparison to identify general trends as well as national peculiarities. The HBI is responsible for the German part of the study; it is supported by the state media authorities and the ZDF. 

Overview of the Most Important Findings
  • The long-term downward trend of people's interest in news has slowed down this year. 55 percent of adult internet users in Germany say in 2024 that they are extremely or very interested in news (2023: 52%). The general reach of news also remains stable compared to the previous year: 89 percent read, listen to or watch news more than once a week (2023: 89%).
  • 42 percent of internet users in Germany aged 18 and above are extremely or very interested in politics. Political interest has increased slightly compared to the previous year, but is at a lower level than in 2021, when around one in two people said they were extremely or very interested in politics. While more than half (52%) of those aged 55 and over are very interested in politics, this only applies to just over a third (35%) of 18 to 24-year-olds. Looking at different news topics, the highest proportion of people are interested in local news (59%).
  • 67 percent of adult internet users in Germany use digital news services on the websites or apps of news providers or on social media at least once a week. News programs on traditional linear television are watched by 60 percent within a week. Overall, online news usage continues to be dominated by traditional TV, radio and print providers. 45 percent regularly read, watch or listen to the content of established news providers on the Internet; among 18 to 24-year-olds, the figure is 47 percent. However, when comparing individual online sources, social media is leading with a weekly reach of 34 percent. Every second person under the age of 35 encounters news content on such platforms.
  • The internet is not only a regularly used source of news, but for the first time in the history of the study, it is also the most important source of news for most of the adult online population in Germany. 42 percent say that the internet is their main source of news, closely followed by linear television broadcasts at 41 percent. 15 percent of respondents receive news mainly from social media. This proportion has risen continuously over the long term and is highest among 18 to 24-year-olds at 35 percent. For 16 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds, social media is even the only source of news.
  • To find specific articles or reports online, most adult internet users access a news website or app directly (32%) or enter the name of a specific website into a search engine (29%).  Respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 are most likely to come across specific news content on social media (37%) and for 27 percent, social media is the most important way to access online news.
  • WhatsApp, YouTube and Facebook will remain the most widely used social media among the adult online population in Germany in 2024. At the same time, they are used proportionately by most respondents within a week to search for, read, view, share or discuss news (WhatsApp: 15%, YouTube: 21%, Facebook: 16%). In the youngest age group, news is primarily consumed on social media with a focus on moving images: 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds regularly engage with news content on Instagram, followed by YouTube with 24% and TikTok with 13%.
  • Almost half of adult internet users in Germany (49%) watch a short online news video (a few minutes or less) at least once a week. Longer news videos are watched regularly by around a third (34%). For 26 percent of users of online news videos, the platform of a news provider is the most frequently used channel for watching online news videos. YouTube is close behind with 23 percent. In contrast, 18 to 24-year-olds mainly consume online news videos on the third-party platforms YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Overall, videos on international news, domestic politics and the environment and climate are the most popular.
  • 43 percent of adult internet users in Germany believe that most news can generally be trusted. This is the same number of respondents as in the previous year, although it is the lowest figure since the question was first included in the Reuters Institute Digital News Survey in 2015. Trust in the news that respondents use themselves has also remained stable at 53 percent.  Once again, the two main news channels of the public broadcasters are the two services with the highest trust ratings among the brands surveyed that are known to respondents. They are closely followed by regional and local daily newspapers.
  • People tend to be skeptical about news on social media. 41 percent of TikTok users have difficulty distinguishing between trustworthy and untrustworthy messages. People also tend to distrust messages that are disseminated on platform X (formerly Twitter). Respondents have fewer concerns about messages they receive via WhatsApp or Google search. Regarding online news as a whole, 42 percent of adult internet users in Germany express concerns about being able to distinguish fake news from facts (2023: 37%). Around a quarter of respondents (26%) said they had encountered false or misleading information about migration and politics.
  • The most important aspect for trust in news media from the respondents' perspective is the question of whether they communicate transparently how news is produced. 74 percent consider this aspect to be somewhat or very important for trust. High journalistic standards (72%), (un)biased reporting (65%) and fair representation of "people like me" (65%) were also rated as important. Whether news media can look back on a long history or whether they report too negatively, on the other hand, is rated as less important for trust.
  • The most important functions of the news media from the respondents' point of view are that they are kept up to date with current events, learn more about different topics and events and receive different perspectives on current issues. However, the diversity of perspectives in the media is seen by the majority as less well fulfilled: Less than half (43%) think that the news media is somewhat or very good at providing different perspectives on current issues. The news media perform worst when it comes to giving people a more optimistic view of the world; only a quarter of respondents consider this to be well fulfilled. On the other hand, a more optimistic view of the world is also seen as important by fewer people (42%).
  • In 2024, 14 percent of adult internet users in Germany often actively try to avoid news; 69 percent try to do so at least occasionally. Compared to the previous year, both percentages have risen by four percentage points. At the same time, 41 percent of respondents stated that they feel exhausted by the amount of news available today. In 2019, when the question was last asked, around one in four people (26%) still held this view. In the youngest age group, half (51%) now feel somewhat exhausted by the amount of news available.
  • Around half (52%) of adult internet users in Germany have read or heard a great or moderate amount about artificial intelligence (AI). However, the use of AI in journalism is predominantly met with skepticism. Every second person feels rather or very uncomfortable using news produced mainly by AI with some human supervision. Acceptance is slightly higher when news is produced only with some help from AI, but mainly by human journalists. Around a third (36%) of all respondents feel rather or very comfortable using such news. In a comparison of different topics, the greatest openness towards automated news is found in the areas of science and technology as well as sport. Younger people tend to be more open to using AI news than older people.

About this publication

Year of publication

2024

RELATED KEYWORDS

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the Institute's latest news via email.

SUBSCRIBE!