Short Videos Become Main Source Of Information For Young People, Warns Reuters Institute Report

    Traditional media also face the challenge of artificial intelligence, warns an annual report by the Reuters Institute

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    Short videos broadcast on social networks are the main source of information for young people, ahead of traditional media, which also face the challenge of artificial intelligence, warns an annual report by the Reuters Institute.

    “Videos are becoming a more important source of online information, especially among younger people,” highlights the report by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, linked to Oxford University.

    “TikTok remains (the) most popular network (…) and the percentage of those using it to receive news has grown by 13% across all markets and 23% for those aged 18-24,” the text explained.

    The report is based on online surveys conducted by YouGov among 95,000 people in 47 countries.The growth is even greater “in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia,” the experts warn.They highlight figures from Peru, where 27% of users (of all ages) use TikTok as a news source, compared to 3% in Denmark.

    Following the trend of recent years, the study shows that two-thirds of global respondents watch at least one short video (of a few minutes) on a news topic each week.

    Up to 85% of respondents in Peru watch short videos weekly for information, 77% in Mexico (same figure as in Colombia), 76% in Brazil, 75% in Chile and 66% in Argentina. In Spain, the figure is 64%.These figures fall, although not dramatically, among the more developed countries: 60% in the United States, 57% in Canada, 45% in France, 49% in Germany.

    The big problem for traditional media is that almost three quarters (72%) of this video consumption takes place on social platforms and networks, compared to only 22% on their original sites, raising questions about their ability to generate revenue.

     The Milei case

    As last year, there is a dichotomy between networks.On Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), whose audience has aged, traditional media remain dominant, although these networks tend to give less and less space to information.

    But on TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, with a younger audience, the search for information is conducted more through content creators and influencers than classic media and journalists.

    “Consumers embrace video because it is easily accessible and offers a wide variety of content. But many traditional media are still anchored in a text-based culture and are struggling to adapt,” comments Nic Newman, the lead author of the text.

    “Argentina’s new populist president, Javier Milei, has a successful TikTok account with 2.2 million followers,” the text reminds us.And the new Indonesian president, PrabowoSubianto, who won a major election victory in February, used AI-generated images in his online propaganda.

    News written by AI

    The study cites the German media group KStA, which uses an AI program called KlaraIndernach to write more than 5% of its content.In parallel to these experiments in established media, some sites use AI to hack content, without authorization or human control, in order to generate traffic and make money.

    Questioned about AI, the consumers surveyed “are generally concerned about its use in dealing with information”.However, “they are more favorable to the use of AI to perform certain tasks such as text transcription or translation, i.e. when it helps journalists and not when it replaces them.”

    AI models feed on data they find on the Internet, including press content, to be able to produce text or images from a simple request formulated in everyday language by their users.To obtain remuneration, some media have opted to enter into agreements with the big AI players, such as the American OpenAI (creator of ChatGPT).

    This is the case of France’s Le Monde, the American news agency The Associated Press (AP), the German group Axel Springer, the Spanish conglomerate Prisa Media and the British daily Financial Times.On the other hand, U.S. newspapers such as the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune have sued OpenAI for copyright infringement.

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