NEWS26 May 2020

Covid-19 UK news consumption remains high

Covid-19 Media News Trends UK

UK – Over nine in 10 respondents surveyed by Ofcom ( 92%) are still accessing news about Covid-19 at least once a day, according to the media regulator’s latest research.

Online news reading phone_crop

While the public are still staying informed, the frequency with which people access news about the pandemic is in decline, according to data collected during the eighth week of the UK’s lockdown ( 16th-17th May).

It found that 8% of respondents currently access news about Covid-19 at least 20 times a day, compared with almost a quarter ( 24%) of respondents in the first week of lockdown (fieldwork took place 27th-29th March).

Ofcom is surveying 2,000 UK online adults every week on their habits and attitudes in the previous seven days.

Traditional media sources (broadcasters, newspapers and radio) are still both the most-used source of news and information about Covid-19 ( 88% in week eight compared with 93% in week one), and viewed as the most important ( 65% in week eight, down from 71% in the first week week). 

The research from Ofcom also found a higher level of confusion among respondents, with 26% agreeing with the statement: ‘I am confused about what I should be doing in response to Coronavirus’ – an increase from 16% the previous week and 17% in week one.

A third ( 33%) of those surveyed said they were trying to avoid news about the virus, up from 22% in the first week of the research. There has been a slight decline in the proportion of those who say they have come across false or misleading information about it ( 43%, compared to 46% in the first week).