This report is part of a long running international survey coordinated by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, an international research centre in the comparative study of journalism based at the University of Oxford. The Digital News Report delivers comparative data on media usage in 40 countries and across 6 continents.
The News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra is the Australian partner institute and author of the Digital News Report: Australia. This is the sixth annual DNR: Australia report.
This year’s report has been shaped by unprecedented health and weather events. The main survey was conducted toward the end of the extreme bushfire season in Australia, and additional research was undertaken while the country was in lockdown due to the coronavirus.
At the time of publication, the news media are grappling with the economic impacts of the pandemic. Many local and regional outlets have closed or been suspended, and the long term financial and social consequences of the global health pandemic are not yet fully known.
- Australian news consumers are accessing news more frequently but their interest in news is declining
- Trust in news fell to 38% (-6) in Jan/Feb 2020 but trust in news about COVID-19 during the pandemic was much higher (53%)
- More than half (54%) of news consumers say they prefer impartial news, but 19% want news that confirms their worldview
- Those with lower incomes, low education and live in the regions rely more on local news
- Australian news consumers (8%) are more than twice as likely than the global average (3%) to believe climate change is not serious at all
- More than half (58%) believe tech platforms should block false political ads and 24% say they shouldn’t