The Digital News Report: Australia 2019 finds only 9% of Australian online news consumers would prioritise paying for news over a video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon or Stan (34%).
The report also finds 62% of Australians are concerned about what is real or fake on the internet and many are taking action to combat it by fact-checking.
Australians have also given the news media mixed report card:
- 66% think the news media does a good job keeping them up to date and 57% think they do a good job explaining events.
- However, less than half (45%) think they are holding the powerful to account; 44% say it is often too negative; and only 25% say the stories are relevant to their lives.
Fact-checking and fake news
- 62% are worried about what is real or fake on the internet and many are adopting fact-checking behaviours to counter their concern.
- 36% say they checked several different sources to check the accuracy of a story; 26% say they have started to use more reputable sources of news; 22% say they have stopped using unreliable sources; and 22% say the decided not to share a story they were unsure about.
News avoidance and fatigue
- The proportion of Australians avoiding news has increased from 57% in 2017 to 62% in 2019, and 28% say they are worn out by the volume of news. Eighty-eight per cent of those who are worn out by news, also avoid it.
Interest in news and politics
- The proportion of Australians who say they are interested in news has dropped from 64% in 2016 to 58% in 2019; and 65% of Australians say they have a low interest in politics.
- There is a gender ‘paying gap’. Ten per cent of women pay for online news compared to 17% of men. Overall, 14% pay for online news which is close to the global average (13%).
The Digital News Report: Australia 2019 is the fifth in a series of annual reports which tracks changes in news consumption in Australia over time, particularly within the digital space. The report is published by the University of Canberra’s News and Media Research Centre (N&MRC).
The online survey was conducted in Australia between late January and early February 2019. The Australian survey forms part of a global study of 38 territories by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford.
APO Editor's note:
The Digital news report: Australia 2019 was updated on 17 June 2019.