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|Digital news report: Australia 2021||20.06 MB|
The global COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for credible and fast news. In the early days, news consumption increased as the public tried to make sense of the rapidly evolving crisis. Despite the surge in demand, news organisations experienced a substantial hit to revenues, which led to the closure or suspension of many local newspapers across Australia. The pandemic has accelerated the industry’s decades-long struggle to replace falling advertising income.
The global data show there is no consistent pattern in COVID-19’s impact on news consumers. In Australia, 57% say their lives have been impacted by the pandemic, the lowest out of the 46 countries surveyed.
However, this year’s report reveals the rapid increase in news consumption by Australians at the start of the pandemic has not been maintained. The proportion of people paying for it has not increased, and interest in news has declined since 2020.
The report also finds that Australians have become more trusting of news in general but concern about misinformation remains high. However, many Australians lack adequate levels of media literacy to identify it and are unaware of the financial difficulty facing the news industry.