NEWS13 May 2020

More children get Covid-19 news from TV than social media, Ofcom finds

Covid-19 Media News UK Youth

UK – Children aged 12 to 15 are more likely to rely on television news for information about the Covid-19 pandemic than social media, research from media regulator Ofcom has found.

BBC Broadcasting House

Ofcom had around 500 children aged 12 to 15 participate in an online survey between 1 and 20 April 2020 as part of its News Consumption in the UK study.

Around 72% of children in this age group used the television for news on the virus, compared with 48% who used social media as a source.

The BBC was the most popular news source outside of family members, according to Ofcom, with 49% of those surveyed mentioning it in the survey.

ITV and Sky news were watched by 30% and 21% respectively of the children surveyed by Ofcom about the pandemic.

YouTube ( 20%), Facebook and Facebook Messenger ( 25%) and Instagram ( 18%) were the most commonly used online sources of news about Covid-19, according to the survey.

Girls aged 12 to 15 were more likely than boys of the same age to say they used Facebook or Facebook Messenger ( 25% versus 15%), Snapchat ( 12% vs 3%) and TikTok ( 14% vs 6%) as sources of information

Ofcom found that 43% of 12 to 15-year olds think there is too much Covid-19 news, and are more likely to agree with this statement compared with children of other ages.

But a clear majority of 12 to 15-year old children agree that the crisis ‘is showing some good things about the country, like more support for the NHS’ ( 83%).